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Veterans Treatment Court

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Presentation on theme: "Veterans Treatment Court"— Presentation transcript:

1 Veterans Treatment Court
Hamilton County Common Pleas

2 Veterans Treatment Court
This program can help with benefits, treatment, and housing. It can also help you reconnect with family, employment, and meaningful relationships. Participants in Veterans Treatment Court must follow the instructions of the Judge and follow the treatment plan developed by the treatment team. Acceptance is based on participant treatment needs and problems with the law. We will ask about the participants willingness to undergo treatment for trauma, substance use, and mental health care.

3 What is Hamilton County Common Pleas Veterans Treatment Court?
Veterans Treatment Court is a court-supervised treatment program whose goal is to help address the issues that led to contact with the criminal justice system. The program is voluntary and includes regular court appearances before a Veterans Treatment Court Judge. The Veterans Treatment Court Judge supervises progress in the program. A final decision of acceptance to the program is made by the Judge with the help of the treatment team.

4 The Veterans Court Treatment Team
VTC is composed of a dedicated group of professionals who are committed to participant success in the program. Common Pleas Judge: The Judge will determine acceptance into the program, supervise ongoing compliance with the treatment team, and make final determinations as to phase advancement, sanctions, rewards, termination and graduation from the program. Veterans Healthcare Administration: Provides residential and ongoing outpatient treatment to qualified Veterans. Services may include treatment for PTSD, TBI, Substance Abuse, physical health needs, and mental health needs. The Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist shall be the primary treatment team contact between the Court and the Veterans Healthcare Administration. Veterans Benefits Administration: Provides the treatment team with access to information related to Veterans’ eligibility for services through the VA system and assists participants with accessing benefits. Hamilton County Adult Probation: Hamilton County Probation shall have designated Probation Officers who will attend treatment meetings, court hearings, and be involved in the creation and implementation of treatment and supervision plans. Team members include:

5 The Veterans Court Treatment Team
Program Coordinator: The Program Coordinator will work in conjunction with all treatment and criminal justice providers to assist with accessing resources, coordinating services and managing the administration of the Docket. Hamilton County Prosecutor The Prosecutor reviews all referrals for legal eligibility and works closely with the Defense Attorney, Judge, and service providers to monitor the progress of participants throughout all phases of the program. Hamilton County Public Defender / Defense Attorney A participant may be represented by either a Public Defender or privately retained counsel. Defense counsel will work collaboratively with the team and provide legal counsel to the participant throughout the program. Hamilton County Pre-Trial Services Provides screening and engagement services to individuals processed through the Hamilton County Justice Center. Pre-Trial staff provides initial connection to community services and linkage to VA, Mental Health Court, Drug Court, and Veteran’s Treatment Court programs. Volunteer Peer Mentor Coordinator Responsible for training, supervising and maintaining the Veteran Peer Mentor Program.

6 Key Components of the Veterans Court:
Ensure that Veterans receive effective treatment and access to community resources available to him or her. An individual treatment plan for each participant to address needs, barriers and goals. The treatment plan will include evaluations and assessments to determine the most effective treatment for the Veteran. Each Veteran has a support team dedicated to helping the Veteran achieve their goals. The support team includes other Veterans, treatment providers, Court staff, and the Veteran Peer Mentor Support Program.

7 Key Components of the Veterans Court:
Each Veteran will come to court regularly to see the Honorable Judge Ethna M. Cooper. Veterans are required to appear weekly or bi-weekly during the initial phase of the program. Veterans will be required to appear less often as they progresses through the program. As progress is made in participants treatment, attendance may be reduced to every third week or monthly at the discretion of the Judge. Frequent random alcohol & drug testing throughout the program (may be ordered through probation and/or treatment providers). Veterans must follow the rules of Probation and orders of the Veterans Treatment Court.

8 What does a participant have to do?
Participants are required to sign a contract in court. The contract is an agreement between participant and the Judge. The contract explains what is expected and the consequences for noncompliance. Before the contract is signed, participant will review it with Defense Attorney and have any additional questions answered or clarified.

9 What’s in it for the participant?
A New Beginning Joining the Veterans Treatment Court means that the participant wants to improve the his/her life. Participant will work closely with the Treatment Team and Judge to achieve participant goals. Veterans Treatment Court provides a treatment centered atmosphere and works with Veterans to address their individual needs. If participant takes advantage of the assistance offered he/she will discover many ways to make a better life.

10 Veteran Peer Mentoring Program
The Veterans Treatment Court relies on cooperation between the criminal justice system, the Department of Veterans Affairs and community treatment agencies to provide comprehensive treatment for Veterans. The Court also relies on a unique component - Veteran Peer Mentors. Veteran Peer Mentors are part of the Court’s team and provide advice, personal experiences, recommendations and guidance to participants of the Court. These volunteers include, but are not limited to, Veterans who have served in Vietnam, Korea, Operation Desert Storm/Shield, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. These men and women volunteer their time to work with our participants. The mission of the Peer Mentoring Program is to ensure that every Veteran receives the services they need by helping them navigate the system and acting as a mentor, advocate, and ally.

11 Recognition of Compliance and Success
VTC acknowledges success and offers incentives in the following ways: Reducing fines or fees; Reducing supervision contacts; Increasing or expanding privileges; Encouragement and praise from the judge; Reducing or suspending jail or prison days; Decreasing frequency of court appearances; Assistance with purchasing clothing for job interviews; Dismissing criminal charges or reducing the term of probation; Gift cards for restaurants, movie theaters, recreational activities, or personal care services; Ceremonies and tokens of progress, including advancement in specialized docket phases; Encouragement to increase participation in positive activities the participant finds pleasurable, such as writing, art work, or other positive hobbies; Graduating from the specialized docket.

12 Opportunity VTC provides you the opportunity to: Access benefits;
Develop job skills; Stabilize your living situation; Return to school; and/or work; Live a drug and crime free life; Rebuild family and community ties; Engage in treatment rather than incarceration; Connect with Veteran Peers living in the community; Connect to available services at the VA and other community resources.

13 Compliance Graduated Sanctions: Jail time; Written reports; Community service work; Formal probation violation; Electronic Monitoring, (EMU); Verbal admonishment from the Judge; Increased group and/or meeting attendance; One or multiple days seated in the courtroom; More frequent appearances before the Judge; Termination from the Veterans Treatment Court program; More frequent appearances before the probation department; Increased testing of breath, blood or urine for drugs or alcohol. Failure to comply with these rules, the Participant Contract, the orders of the Judge, or the commission of a new criminal act will result in immediate and graduated sanctions and may result in termination from the program.

14 Termination Termination or voluntary withdrawal from Veterans Treatment Court will result in sentencing on the charges to which the participant pled. This program is designed for individuals who want to engage in treatment, stop the cycle of criminal behavior, and abstain from the use of drugs. Active participation in the process is essential to participant success.

15 Rules of Veterans Treatment Court
To remain in Veterans Treatment Court, participant is required to follow these rules: 1.Stop the use of illegal, non-prescribed drugs. You are required to comply with regular drug testing. The Veterans Treatment Court Judge has access to all drug test results. Failure to provide a sample, submitting a sample of another individual, and adulterated samples will be deemed a positive test and immediately sanctioned. Although relapse may occur in recovery, a positive or "dirty" test will result in a court-imposed sanction. 2. Appear in court as scheduled. You are required to appear in front of the Judge on a regular basis, as often as one time per week (during Phase 1). The Judge is given progress reports regarding your attendance and participation in your treatment programs. The Judge will ask you about your progress and discuss any problems you may be having.

16 Rules of Veterans Treatment Court
3. Follow your individualized treatment plan. You and the treatment team, following an assessment of your needs, will develop an initial treatment plan. This plan will guide your treatment. You set goals and create a plan to meet those goals. The plan is updated as you progress through the program. 4. Attend all appointments with your case manager, treatment providers, probation officer, and support services. As part of your treatment plan you may be required to participate in counseling. Counseling may help with self-awareness, self-discipline, and coping mechanisms necessary to maintain a clean, sober, and productive lifestyle. You may be required to attend groups such as anger management, parenting, or any other area you or the treatment team identify as needed. Your attendance at counseling sessions is reported to the Judge as part of your progress report. You must have prior permission from your counselor to be excused from a counseling session.

17 Rules of Veterans Treatment Court
5.You are responsible for being at all appointments on time. 6. Maintain compliance with medications as prescribed to you by your psychiatrist and/or primary physician. 7. Follow the orders of the Judge and recommendations of the Veterans Treatment Court Team. 8. Follow the rules in the Participation Contract and with Hamilton County Probation.

18 VTC Program Phases & Graduation
The Veterans Treatment Court has four phases lasting for a minimum of 15 to 18 months. Each phase has treatment objectives, therapeutic and rehabilitative activities, and specific requirements for advancement into the next phase. Progress through the program is based upon participant performance in the treatment plan and compliance with the program phases.

19 Orientation, Introduction, Assessment, and Assimilation
Length: a minimum of 30 days During Orientation, participant will be assigned a Probation Officer. Participant attorney will provide an overview of the program. Participant needs will be assessed and addressed by the treatment team. Progress will be closely monitored by the treatment team and reported to the Judge. Orientation Phase requirements may include: 1. Referral to VA or community treatment services for assessment to address substance use and/or behavioral health needs; 2. Regular and Random Drug testing; 3. Attendance at Veterans Treatment Court docket as often as one time per week; 4. Attendance at groups and/or self-help meetings, if applicable; 5. Reporting to Probation Officer; 6.Identifying goals (may include housing, treatment services, education or vocational training) 7. Formal admission to the program – sign contract and complete plea.

20 Phase I – Orientation Phase
Length: a minimum of 90 days In Phase I, participant treatment plan will be developed by the participant and the Treatment Team. Participant will make personal achievement goals in addition to treatment plan goals (GED, vocational/educational, counseling, psychotherapy, exercise, anger management, parenting skills, etc.) Phase I requirements include: 1.Involvement in treatment as directed; 2.Regular and Random Drug testing; 3.Taking medication as directed by medical and/or mental health professionals; 4.Attendance at all scheduled treatment appointments; 5.Reporting to your Probation Officer; 6.Formulation of personal goals with the assistance of the treatment team (GED, vocational/educational counseling, psychotherapy, exercise, anger management, parenting skills, etc.) 7.Weekly or bi-weekly court appearances as determined by the Veterans Treatment Court Judge. 8.Consistent financial payments to Probation as determined by the Court 9.Connection to an assigned Veteran Peer Mentor.

21 Phase II – Stabilization Phase
Length: a minimum of 150 days In Phase II, participant treatment plan will be updated by the participant and the treatment team to identify treatment goals and objectives. Counseling and meetings will focus on areas that are challenging for the participant, and will identify ways of coping with stressful situations. Phase II requirements include: 1. Establish and maintain treatment attendance and participation; 2. Submit to all drug testing; 3. Attend all scheduled meeting with probation officer; 4. Regular contact with Veteran Peer Mentor; 5. Attend all scheduled Veterans Treatment Court dockets (bi-weekly or every three weeks); 6. Clean and sober recreation/fellowship; 7. Ongoing review and updating of the treatment plan; 8. Identify goals related to employment, education, benefits, community service, and/or healthy activities; 9. Consistent financial payments through Probation for any costs and/or restitution; 10. Strengthening relationship with Veteran Peer Mentor; 11. Identify housing options if not already in place.

22 Phase III – Community Reintegration Phase
Length: a minimum of 120 days Phase III will address participant ongoing recovery needs including maintaining abstinence from drugs. This phase is designed to support the participant in return to the community as a productive and responsible member. Phase III requirements include: 1. Continued counseling and treatment services as directed; 2. Submit to all drug testing; 3. Attendance at self-help meetings and maintenance of a sponsor, if appropriate; 4. Report to your Probation Officer as instructed; 5. Maintain employment and/or progress toward an educational goal or community service; 6. Appear for all scheduled Veteran Treatment Court dockets as directed by the Judge (Required to attend 1 to 2 times per month); 7. Consistent financial payment to Probation, and other agencies as determined by the treatment team; 8. Maintain safe and stable housing; 9. Update treatment goals to reflect progress;

23 Phase IV – Maintenance Phase/Graduation
Length: a minimum of 120 days Phase IV will help the participant successfully transition from a lifestyle within the Veterans Treatment Court structure to a lifestyle more representative of what participants will experience following graduation. Phase IV requirements include:  1. Continued counseling and treatment as directed; 2. Drug tests conducted on a random basis or as directed by the Court; 3. Maintain connection to self-help support if appropriate; 4. Report to your Probation Officer as directed; 5. Update treatment goals to address graduation and goals beyond this program; 6. Maintain full-time employment and/or actively pursue vocational/educational goals, or community service; 7. Appear in court for progress reviews an average of one time per month; 8. Continue established Peer Mentor relationship; 9. Consistent financial payment to Probation to address any outstanding costs, fees or restitution; 10. Preparation of graduation application.

24 Phase IV – Maintenance Phase/Graduation
When the participant completes the program phases, the Veterans Treatment Court will honor the achievement at a graduation ceremony. This is an opportunity for our Veterans to be recognized for their achievements and for the Veterans to acknowledge their families and loved ones.

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