This is a summary of the Final Report of a study that examined the program and participant features of a selection of eight Veteran Trial Courts (VTCs), which focus their policies and services on addressing common needs many veterans are facing that have engaged them in criminal justice processing.
Although the programs and policies of the VTCs vary in many respects, they generally have the common goal of effectively addressing the needs that have brought veterans into contact with the criminal justice system. Common needs identified and addressed with treatment programs pertain to drug and/or alcohol abuse and mental health issues underlying other problem behaviors, such as aggression and depression. Some VTCs have systems of rewards and punishments to provide incentives for participants to comply with treatment regimens and/or show progress in meeting treatment goals. Some VTCs require that those granted participation in the VTC plead guilty to charges against them before being accepted as a participant.