Press Release: Jasper, GA, December 11, 2013: The Appalachian Judicial Circuit, under the direction of Chief Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver, has launched a court designed to help our veterans.
Millions of Americans have served our country. Reports indicate many of returning war veterans have a high frequency of mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders. These problems may contribute to increased suicide attempts, divorce, domestic violence, homelessness, and arrest. The Appalachian Circuit has taken a proactive approach and has implemented a specialized treatment court to meet the needs of our veterans.
Veterans Treatment Court seeks to divert eligible veterans with substance abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mental illness, etc. who have been charged with a criminal offense, to a specialized criminal docket. The court substitutes a treatment and problem solving model, along with accountability, including drug testing and curfews, for the traditional court processing. Veterans who will likely benefit from the program are identified through an evidenced base screening and assessment process. The veterans will then participate in a judicially supervised treatment plan developed by professionals in addiction, trauma, and mental health. At regular status hearings before the judge, treatment plans and adherence to those treatment plans are reviewed, incentives are offered to reward adherence to those plans, and sanctions for non-adherence or other violations of the rules of Veterans treatment Court.
On December 7, 2013, the first training was held for the volunteer veteran mentors. The role of the mentor is to act as a coach, guide, role model, and advocate. Mentors understand the role of other support team members and help fill the gap to help keep the participant moving successfully toward completion of the Veterans Treatment Court program. They are each assigned a participant in the program. The mentor also attends court hearings with their mentee. The Appalachian Judicial Circuit Veterans Court is seeking volunteer mentors. Applicants must be a current or former member of the United States Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard or corresponding reserve branches of those services or the National Guard.
To apply, please contact Veterans Court Program Coordinator Chris Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-301-8483 or Mentor Coordinator Charles Lewis at email@example.com