National Veterans Treatment Court Enhancement Initiative

National Veterans Treatment Court Enhancement Initiative

The National Institute of Corrections and the Bureau of Justice Assistance have partnered with the Center for Court Innovation to develop the first set of specialized screening, assessment, and case planning tools for Veterans Treatment Courts. By incorporating the latest research on trauma, substance use disorders, and other issues affecting veterans, these tools are designed to help Veterans Treatment Courts meet the special needs of justice-involved veterans.

The Veterans Treatment Court Enhancement Initiative will produce three new tools.

  1. Short screener: A short pre-adjudication screening tool will identify veterans as they enter the justice system and measure their risk of re-offending. This tool will help justice system officials identify suitable candidates for Veterans Treatment Court and refer them for a full assessment.
  2. Comprehensive risk-need assessment: A comprehensive risk-need assessment tool will enable Veterans Treatment Court staff to learn more about individuals’ criminogenic risks and needs. This information will help Veterans Treatment Courts confirm participant eligibility and understand each participant’s risk-need profile for case planning purposes.
  3. Case planning protocol: A set of case planning guidelines will help Veterans Treatment Courts develop individualized supervision and case plans for each participant based on their risk-need profiles.

Pilot Courts

Center for Court Innovation staff is currently testing these tools at three pilot sites (King County, WA, Billings, MT, and Tampa, FL). Innovation staff will work with each pilot court to integrate the tools into existing court procedures and practices and will provide ongoing technical assistance to address any implementation issues that arise.

After being tested and refined in the three pilot courts and validated through rigorous research, the tools will provide Veterans Treatment Courts across the country with the first evidence-based resources designed specifically to serve the needs of justice-involved veterans.