Most individuals are not aware of the Veterans’ Treatment Courts and how they can benefit the men and women who have served this great nation.
For active service members and veterans, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has set up what is known as Veterans’ Treatment Courts that specialize in assisting individuals who have been charged with misdemeanors or felonies and suffer from mental health and/or substance abuse disorders. There are five Veterans’ Treatment Courts in the Commonwealth spread out from Boston to Western Massachusetts. The programs are treatment focused and require that the individual abstains from drugs and alcohol. After an initial interview and submission of the referral form, individuals are paired with a probation officer and the program is tailored, whether it be an issue with alcohol, drugs, mental health or some combination, to their specific needs. If granted access to a program, the individual will be closely monitored and assisted by a probation officer and a volunteer mentor. Individuals who successfully enroll in the program are afforded alternative sentencing options, team support to improve their well being, a volunteer mentor (most often a fellow veteran), and access to a comprehensive treatment plan through the VA or other community providers.