On August 8, President Trump signed into law the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act (P.L. 116-153), a bipartisan bill offering new resources to state and local governments for veteran treatment courts. In a win for counties, the bill specifically provides grants and technical assistance for state, local and tribal governments interested in starting or expanding veteran treatment court programs.
Veteran treatment courts work with the traditional criminal justice system to help rehabilitate veterans who have committed non-violent misdemeanors while transitioning to civilian life. Through these courts, veterans dealing with mental health and substance use issues may enroll in recovery programs designed to set them on a path to success.
Counties serve as the entry point to the criminal justice system and will benefit from the funding and technical assistance resources outlined under the legislation, with which we can better address the veteran-specific issues that may contribute to an individual’s criminal offense. The bill also supports veteran treatment court personnel, who are familiar with the VA, state VA systems and veteran service organizations in the community and can help connect justice-involved veterans with these resources.
NACo is grateful for the actions taken by Congress and the President and continues to support the use of veterans treatment courts. County leaders will continue to engage with congressional legislators to ensure counties have the resources to support the health and well-being of veterans and residents.