Veterans Treatment Court Program
The Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) Program is a voluntary program that includes regular court appearances before the Judge. It is a Court that closely monitors Veterans who want treatment for alcohol or substance abuse addiction and/or serious mental health disease. The Court works in conjunction with the local Judiciary, AOC, The Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Office of the Jefferson County Attorney/Commonwealth Attorney, Legal Aid, Community Corrections, Seven Counties and Louisville Metro Police Department. The VTC is a tool for case resolution that offers a stringent program that allows for the reintegration of the Veteran to society.
The VTC will accept “qualified” Veterans from Jefferson County, Ky. Circuit and District Courts. Offenders from other jurisdictions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. VTC will accept male and female Veterans who have committed felony or misdemeanor offenses.
Eligible Veterans are identified through legal screenings and evidence-based screenings and assessments, including a bio-psychosocial assessment and the VA HOMES assessment to determine the level of risk and need of the Veteran.
Criteria for acceptance includes:
- Veteran does not have any pending charges excluded by the eligibility guidelines nor has any violent felony convictions as defined by the federal violent offender statute 28 C.F.R. Section 93.3;
- Veteran does not have any charges or prior convictions for sexual offenses or major drug trafficking;
- Veteran does not have any open warrants;
- Willingness to comply with court ordered treatment and other required program services;
- Must be physically able to participate in treatment activities(w/in the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act);
- Preference to combat veterans;
- Veteran must be currently involved with the VA and have an honorable discharge.
- Any Veteran with other than honorable discharge, and those not connected to VA services, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
REFERRAL TO VTC/CASE OUTCOME/DISPOSITION
Referrals for the VTC can come from many sources, i.e., the bench, prosecutor, Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) and/or a defense attorney. Once a referral is made, an inquiry form should be completed and returned to the County Attorney’s Office so that a legal screening can be completed. If a defendant’s criminal history and current charge do not preclude them from participating in the VTC, the defendant will be referred for an assessment through VA and the Jefferson County Drug Court Program.
To download the VTC Inquiry Form, click here.
The VTC is a four-phase, highly structured program lasting a minimum of 18 months. Phase I is a minimum of 30 days; Phase II is a minimum of 8 months; Phase III is a minimum of 3 months and Graduation/Aftercare is 6 months. Individual progress and phase advancement will vary and each phase consists of specified treatment objectives and specific requirements for advancement. Treatment includes weekly individual and group counseling, drug and alcohol testing, mental health treatment and regular attendance at recovery support/self-help meetings. The Participants needs are evaluated by the VTC team and recommendations are made to the Judge.
Participants will be required to appear in court for progress reviews and will be subject to home visits and curfew checks conducted by the VTC Louisville Metro Police Liaison. The Judge will be given a progress report prepared by the VTC team regarding the participant’s progress in the program. If the Participant is doing well, they will be encouraged to follow through on their progress. If the Participant is not doing well, the Judge will discuss this with the VTC team and further action will be determined. Repeated violations or the failure to progress satisfactorily may result in discharge from the program at which point the Participant will be entitled to a hearing before the sentencing Judge.
Once a Participant completes the VTC program, his/her supervision ends and the Participant will graduate. The goals, in addition to the successful conclusion of the criminal case, include the following:
1. Participant is clean and sober
2. Has stable housing
3. Is employed if employable
4. That those without diploma will be in school/others may be in college
5. Has recovery plan in place
6. Is stable, keeping all appointments and is in medication compliance