The writer is the Mentor Coordinator for the Veterans Treatment Court in Richland County, South Carolina. I am often asked, “what is a Veterans Treatment Court anyway.” Recently CBS News did a piece that precisely answers that question.
CBS News profiled SSGT Tommy Rieman who holds the Silver Star and a Purple Heart. His combat experience left him with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that lead to excessive drinking and suicidal attempts.
Before long, SSGT Rieman found himself in trouble with the law but, instead of going through a traditional court, he was given the opportunity to participate in a Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) to address his issues.
Veterans Treatment Court is a joint effort between the Solicitors Office, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, The Department of Veterans Affairs and the volunteer Mentors who give their time to work with Vets. Each of these components work together to help a Veteran rehabilitate him/herself and not re-offend. As it stands right now, Veterans who participate in the VTC, 98% do not re-offend.
So when someone asks, “what is a Veterans Treatment Court anyway,” I will be referring them to this segment by CBS Sunday Morning
Many veterans in trouble with the law say what they want most is a fighting chance to make things right. Mark Strassmann reports that in some cases, they’re finding that chance in a special kind of courtroom.
For more information on Veterans Treatment Court in South Carolina:
- What is Veterans Court? -Fifth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office
- Veterans Court Program – Dorn VA Medical Center
In other States, please contact your local Solicitors Office or the Department of Veterans Affairs.