Veteran Treatment Court is a specialized court designed to meet the particular needs of the veteran community. The goal is to promote sobriety, recovery, and stability through a coordinated response that involves the cooperation and collaboration of many different levels of the Veteran Treatment Court team. Essentially divert eligible veteran-defendants from traditional or other specialty courts to a specialized criminal court docket specifically crafted for them via a 12- to 24- month program. Participating veterans suffer from a brain injury, mental illness, or mental disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or was a victim of military sexual trauma that occurred during or resulted from the defendant’s military service and affected the defendant’s criminal conduct at issue in the case. Additionally, a veteran who is likely to achieve the objective of ensuring public safety through rehabilitation may participate in the program, considering the circumstances of the defendant’s conduct, personal and social background, and criminal history in accordance with Section 1.02(1), Penal Code. Typically, they are charged with misdemeanor criminal offenses. The court substitutes a treatment-based problem-solving model for traditional court processing in conjunction with the Veterans Treatment Court team.
The mission of Veteran Treatment Court is to successfully rehabilitate veteran by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and provide them with the tools they need to lead a productive and law-abiding lifestyle.
Who is Eligible for Veteran Treatment Court?
Eligible veterans are those who find themselves in trouble with the criminal justice system because of criminal behavior resulting from their physical and mental injuries from combat and/or military service which has materially affected their conduct. In Hays County, eligible veterans are identified through self-identification, screening and assessments. Participation is voluntary on the part of the veteran-defendant subject to the consent of the attorney representing the state and the Veterans Treatment Court team.