The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Program is a prevention-focused component of VA’s Homeless Programs Office (HPO). The HPO’s mission is to end homelessness among Veterans. Unfortunately, disabled Veterans have a difficult time reintegrating to civilian society. Veterans often find themselves homeless and become involved in the criminal justice system. The VJO has been working with Veterans since 2009 to assist them in obtaining housing and guiding them through the criminal justice process.
The VJO has established a Veterans Treatment Court (VTC). The VTC model is based on the drug and mental health courts that have existed for nearly 30 years. However, unlike traditional criminal courts, the primary purpose of the VTC is not to determine whether a defendant is guilty of an offense, but rather to ensure that he or she receives treatment to address unmet clinical needs.
As part of the VTC, the specialists assess Veteran defendants’ treatment needs, link Veterans with appropriate VA treatment services, and (with the Veteran’s permission) provide regular updates to the court on their progress in treatment. VJO specialists work closely with justice system partners as they plan new VTCs, informing the partners about VA services that would be available to Veteran defendants locally or regionally.
If you are an incarcerated Veteran, or a family member of an incarcerated Veteran, you should know that there are resources available to ensure that the incarcerated Veteran receives the appropriate care for his or her condition while incarcerated. The VTCs are initiated, funded, and operated by local governments so there is considerable variation among the courts in both participants eligibility criteria and operational processes. For more information on the Veteran’s Outreach Initiative, click on the link here.
Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you have a claim for disability or questions regarding your disability claim, please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. If you need help with a disability claim, call the office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama.