50 Veterans Treatment Courts Among “Fastest Growing” Group


Nick, who went from a clean-cut veteran who had never used drugs to a heroin addict, is set to graduate from St. Louis’ Veterans Treatment Court, a special program started last year. The program is rigorous, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Participants – all of them non-violent offenders – must attend support group meetings, submit to random drug tests and meet frequently with a judge and representatives of the Veterans Administration. “It’s a little like the military,” said Nick. “They force you to do something and you learn from it. It’s one of the best things you’ve ever done, but you never want to do it again.”

About 12 veterans are attending the court in St. Louis. If they successfully complete the steps, the charges against them will be wiped from their records or they may be released early from court supervision. About 50 veterans courts have started nationwide, since the first one opened in 2008 in Buffalo. “It’s the fastest-growing drug court type in the country, said Christopher Deutsch of the National Association for Drug Court Professionals. “A lot of the folks who are working in these courts saw what happened to the previous generation of these veterans. There’s a real desire to not repeat the mistakes of the past, and to intervene early and to ensure that these folks can get on track.”

Comments are closed.