Nov 5, 2012

Veterans Treatment Courts Featured on 60 Minutes

This blog post features an email circulated by Justice for Vets and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals on October 15, 2012.

60 Minutes Hails Veterans Treatment Courts

Last night, 60 Minutes hailed Veterans Treatment Courts for providing ‘Justice for our Veterans’ in a story profiling the Harris County Veterans Treatment Court in Texas. Over thirteen million viewers tuned in for the gripping segment that told the story of several veterans who found redemption in Veterans Treatment Court after coming home and struggling to cope with substance abuse and trauma. “Every two weeks, the vet reports to the judge. Troublemakers are kicked out and sent to the regular probation system. But there haven't been many of those, only nine out of 100 vets so far,” said correspondent Scott Pelley. “Because of that, veterans' courts like this have sprung up in 27 states. There are 100 already with another 100 planned.”

As seen in the story, Arthur Davis was facing twenty years in prison when he became one of the first participants in the Harris County Veterans Treatment Court. The decorated veteran served two decades in the Marine Corps, completing four combat deployments. When he returned home for the final time, he had difficulty engaging with his surroundings, drank to self medicate, and was soon arrested for assault. Thanks to the collaboration in Harris County, he was able to receive treatment for substance abuse and PTSD. Today, Arthur Davis has been sober for two years. “It put me back in a leadership position,” Davis said. “The veterans' court, they prescribed a nice detailed pattern of what you needed to do in order to get on board. And it works.”

In 2011, the Harris County Veterans Treatment Court attended Justice For Vets’ Veterans Treatment Court Planning Initiative (VTCPI), a comprehensive five-day training for new and planned Veterans Treatment Court teams. “Judge Carter and his team are a shining example of how Veterans Treatment Court can transform a community. I congratulate them on this story and thank them for their commitment to ensuring no veteran is left behind,” said Justice For Vets Director Matt Stiner. “Every Veterans Treatment Court should feel proud of last night’s story on 60 Minutes. It is a testament to the unwavering commitment of those who work in these courts, and the incredible capacity for change of the men and women who are served by them. This story sends a strong message that Veterans Treatment Courts will forever change the way the criminal justice system handles veterans.”

To view the entire story, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first veterans court was started by Judge Robert Russell in Buffalo, NY in 2008. Since that time, Judge Russell and his dedicated team of volunteers have helped to train courts all over the country, including Houston's. It's a wonderful program.