In more than 300 law enforcement jurisdictions in the United States, being a military veteran entitles a person to participate in an alternative court, a veterans treatment court. As unique as it sounds, arrested military veterans can chose to go to veterans treatment court rather than face punishment in the traditional criminal justice system.
A veterans treatment court provides an alternative to incarceration. These courts offer structure, accountability, and treatment for mental health injuries and addiction. Instead of incarceration, veterans are offered treatment and opportunities to prove they are willing to rehabilitate. Veterans are surrounded by other veterans, receive health treatment for their specific injury, and meet regularly with veteran mentors and/or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) counselors. Moreover, veterans treatment courts connect veterans to their earned benefits, such as disability compensation for military injuries, education benefits, job training, home loans, and health care. Access to these benefits can help veterans regain their footing and transition to a more productive civilian life.
56 Judges J. 14 (2017).