Veterans Treatment Court
Veterans Treatment Court is a legal system that provides justice and compassion to veterans who are charged with crimes. This court began when the justice system realized that prosecuting and punishing veterans did not work. These veterans suffer from unique mental health issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and severe depression from serving in the armed forces on tours of duty. They also suffer from substance abuse issues to due mental health problems. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major cause of mental issues as well. Therefore, the Massachusetts justice system decided to instate the Veterans Treatment Court, instead of regular court, to support and rehabilitate veterans.
Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many young veterans have returned with the aforementioned issues. Due to stress, mental health problems and the hardship of returning to civilian life, a disproportionate number of young veterans have committed suicide. In fact, 22 veterans commit suicide a day. Those who try to transition back into daily life, struggle, and in this struggle, they turn to substance abuse and illegal activities. Instead of going through the regular court of law, the Veterans Treatment Court takes into account veteran issues and guides veterans through a process that deters recidivism and promotes healing, instead of jail time.
How the Court Helps Veterans
If a veteran is charged with a misdemeanor or felony, he will be taken to Veterans Treatment Court. At the court services will be provided for him, and he will be taken through a process of treatment, accountability and structure. The services provided are individual to the veteran and his needs. For example, a representative from the Veterans Benefit Administration will ensure that veterans receive disability compensation. A VJO, Veterans Justice Outreach specialist, will be present in the courtroom to access medical records, set treatment appointments and communicate information to the judge and the court.
Veteran Mentors are a huge benefit to the court overall. They are veterans who provide support and guidance to those veterans who are in the court system. Oftentimes, the veterans resist the program at first, but with the help of the veteran mentors, they make it through the program. The structure along with having a mentor gives the veteran an opportunity to find empathy and compassion and to start the process of healing.
The Boston Veterans Treatment Court
The Boston Veterans Treatment Court promotes sobriety and stability. The judges and those who work in the court system support veterans and want to see them thrive in the community. To be eligible for this court, a person must have served in the US Armed Forces and is being brought up on misdemeanor or felony charges in Suffolk County (and he must not be indicted) and must have current mental health or substance abuse problems or another recurring disorder related to his military service.
Benefits include access to a comprehensive treatment plan through the VA service system and/or community, team support and case management, and a Veteran Mentor. As the veteran completes the treatment plan, the goals of the court are clear, such as to reduce recidivism, stabilize mental health, facilitate sobriety, improve access to VA benefits and services, achieve stable housing, and improve relationships and social interactions. Once these have been achieved, two other important goals are to advance employment and educational status.
The Best Lawyer for Veterans
A veteran must choose a lawyer who has years of experience in representing clients in Veterans Treatment Court. The lawyer should be compassionate and sympathetic to the issues the veteran is going through. S/he should understand that the veteran is under extreme duress and that this next step is crucial to facilitate treatment and healing.
Attorney Vincent A. Tofani has a commitment and passion to helping veterans. He offers reduced fees when representing US veterans. He is actively involved in the Wounded Warriors Project and assists veterans who are transitioning into civilian life. He believes they are heroes who should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. He wants to help veterans succeed and strives to make the legal system work for them in regard to treatment and regaining mental health.
Call Vincent A. Tofani ASAP…
Attorney Tofani provides free and confidential phone consultations to all veterans. Please contact him immediately at 617-886-0500 x1018 to discuss your case.
Read more about how Attorney Tofani has given Veteran’s A Voice in the Courtroom