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Denver, CO Martial Law Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Colorado’s Veterans Treatment Courts Assist Struggling Veterans

What should I do if I am a veteran struggling to adjust to civilian life?

Specialized courts across Colorado are assisting struggling veterans with transitioning back to civilian life.  Veterans Treatment Courts have opened in a handful of Colorado’s judicial districts.  They provide veterans, especially those with substance abuse issues, a second chance.  Funded through the state and with the help of grants, Veterans Treatment Courts provide an alternative to incarceration for United States military veterans suffering from trauma spectrum disorders and/or substance abuse issues.  This innovative court system has had remarkable success in reintegrating our honored veterans back into society.

Transitioning From Military to Civilian Life

Serving in the military is difficult and dangerous.  Military members risk their own safety for the safety of our country every day.  Returning to civilian life after serving in the military can pose challenges.  Many veterans may suffer from psychological trauma due to their experiences while in the armed forces.  Untreated psychological trauma can push veterans towards drug and alcohol use as a means of self-medicating.  

Recognizing the challenges faced by veterans and the need to rehabilitate those who have served our nation, rather than incarcerate, Colorado is one of several states to create Veterans Treatment Courts.  Veterans that are arrested for misdemeanor or some felony offenses are moved from the traditional court system to the Veterans Treatment or Trauma Court (VTC).  Program participants will receive treatment and counseling.  They are connected to vital housing and mental health or substance abuse treatment resources.  

Thus far, the VTC has had tremendous success.  Recidivism rates are way down, which benefits not just veterans but the public as well.  District attorneys and public defenders have embraced the program, as have presiding judges.  Given the success of the VTC, it is likely that more judicial districts will follow suit and start a Veterans Treatment Court.  

If you are a veteran transitioning to civilian life, it is important to seek the help you need.  Understand that it is normal to experience trouble reintegrating and there are steps you can take to get through this difficult period.  Active military members charged with an offense are encouraged to contact our Colorado court martial defense attorneys at Aviso Law LLC.


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