Academic journal article Judicature

Delaware Veterans Treatment Court a Success

Academic journal article Judicature

Delaware Veterans Treatment Court a Success

Article excerpt

When Judge William L. Witham Jr. established the Kent County Veterans Treatment Court in February 2011, the new court immediately achieved the distinction of being the first Veterans Court in the United States to serve veterans statewide who are charged either with new offenses or with violations of probation.

Delaware's Veterans Treatment Court is designed to assist veterans with mental health and substance abuse issues in obtaining necessary services, and thereby reducing recidivism. Veterans are identified through specialized screening and assessments and voluntarily participate in a judicially supervised treatment plan developed by a team of court staff, veteran health care professionals, veteran peer mentors, and other health and mental health care professionals. If the veteran completes the program, he or she will graduate and any charges or probation violations may be dismissed.

In order to graduate, the veteran must attend monthly progress evaluations held at the Veterans Treatment Court before Judge Witham, himself a former member of the armed services, and other court staff with prior military experience or other military connections. Mentoring is another key component of the Veterans Treatment Court. …

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