Veterans who complete the Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) are as much as 32 percent less likely to commit another crime in the first year versus the average incarcerated person in the United States. Veterans Treatment Court provides an opportunity for veterans who have substance abuse or mental health concerns to undergo court-supervised treatment instead of going to jail or facing other consequences.
This approach allows many veterans to get help for their substance abuse or mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While there are few studies on this concept, Veterans Treatment Court statistics from at least one point at significant benefits of Veterans Treatment Court over jail time or other penalties.
Veterans Benefit from Veterans Treatment Court
According to a 2018 national study, there are several important benefits of the Veterans Treatment Court for veterans with substance abuse disorders or mental health issues. On average, they found that veterans who participated in the Veterans Treatment Court spent about a year in the program.
Perhaps the most impressive number among these Veteran Treatment Court statistics is that only 14 percent of veterans in Veterans Treatment Court in the study experienced another arrest within 12 months. The recidivism rate in the U.S. is between 23 and 46 percent. Other statistics include:
- 10 percent more veterans had their own housing at the end of Veterans Treatment Court than at the beginning;
- 12 percent more veterans qualified for VA disability or other benefits at the end of Veterans Treatment Court than at the beginning; and
- 1 percent more veterans had a job following the Veterans Treatment Court than before.
With more than 450 Veterans Treatment Court programs available now across the United States, more data and additional studies should be forthcoming. In 2017, Florida Veterans Courts had 1,051 participants. Of those, 593 successfully completed the program.
About Florida Veterans Treatment Court
Florida Veterans Treatment Courts offer a way for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who face non-violent misdemeanor or third-degree felony charges to get the treatment they need for a mental health or substance abuse concern. After applying and getting approval from the State Attorney’s Office, they must:
- Undergo mental health and/or substance abuse treatment;
- Go in front of a Veterans Treatment Court judge frequently; and
- Take regular drug and alcohol tests to ensure sobriety.
Participation in this program is voluntary but offers a more favorable outcome than facing penalties handed down by the criminal court system that do not include treatment. Most veterans enter the Veterans Treatment Court as a pre-trial intervention in Florida for their first offense. This allows them to get their charges dismissed after completion of the program.
In addition to using the Veterans Treatment Court as pre-trial intervention, Florida courts also sometimes use post-plea Veterans Treatment Court. This allows the veteran to participate in order to reduce their probation and get the adjudication withdrawn in their case.
Goldman Wetzel Can Help You Apply for Veterans Treatment Court in Tampa Bay and Nearby Areas
The criminal defense attorneys from Goldman Wetzel can help veterans in and around the Tampa Bay area understand if Veterans Treatment Court might be a good option for them. If the police arrested you or you face misdemeanor or third-degree felony charges in Pinellas, Pasco, or Hillsborough counties, Veterans Treatment Court might be a way to get the treatment you need while also getting a more favorable outcome in your criminal case.
At Goldman Wetzel, we will review your case and develop a strong defense strategy on your behalf. If you are a veteran and your substance abuse or mental health concerns played a role in committing a nonviolent crime, Veterans Treatment Court may be a key part of this strategy. Reach out to us today to discuss the specifics of your case.
The attorneys from Goldman Wetzel bring years of experience with the law to your case. Summer Goldman’s background is in the prosecutor’s office, and Maribeth Wetzel has enjoyed a notable career as a defense attorney. This allows us to have a unique perspective on every case we handle. In addition, we both work together on every case. When you hire one of us, you get both of us. This means we can offer the guidance and support you need while aggressively fighting for your best interests in the criminal justice system.
Talk to a Goldman Wetzel Criminal Defense Attorney About Veterans Treatment Court
At Goldman Wetzel, you can count on our team to help you interpret the Veterans Treatment Court statistics and understand if the Veterans Treatment Court is right for you. If we decide it is a good option, we can help you apply. We know what it takes to qualify and get approved for this program in the Tampa Bay area.
Our team serves clients in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties, including
Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. Call us today at 727-828-3900 for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you.