Veterans Treatment Courts: A Second Chance for Vets Who Have Lost Their Way (White Paper)

This NIC publication, officially released during a live webinar event on May 17, 2016, is now available.

Veterans Treatment Courts: A Second Chance for Vets Who Have Lost Their Way tells the story of these veterans and the judges, advocates, and treatment professionals who are working with both passion and compassion to ensure a second chance for vets referred to the criminal justice system. The report is based on a series of interviews and personal observations from key professionals intimately involved in the founding and operation of these courts. In this publication, they relay how veterans treatment courts are “the right thing to do” for justice-involved veterans who commit certain crimes associated with the lingering legacy of their wartime experiences.

Court staff and graduates of veterans treatment court programs—which use a carrot-and-stick approach to rehabilitate rather than overtly punish—describe, in often exquisite detail, what their roles are and how they have come to embrace the concept of these courts. 

From Judge Vance W. Peterson, Spokane County District Court, Veterans Court:

“What a wonderful way to tell the story! [A Second Chance for Veterans Who Have Lost Their Way] is a great philosophical primer to help shift conventional criminal justice mindsets from normal 'business as usual' practices to the much more effective therapeutic model of a Veterans Treatment Court. It is definitely a blueprint for establishing and maintaining Veterans Courts in any jurisdiction! I wish I had this on my desk when we began our journey to establish our court. It would have eliminated a lot of trial and error.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is thinking about setting up a Veterans Court and also to those folks who already have one in place as the information in there can be of great assistance in maintaining the program.”

To view A Second Chance online: 
To request copies of A Second Chance please contact the NIC Information Center.