WHAT IS VETERANS COURT?
The Eighth Circuit’s Veterans Court Program (VCP) is designed to assist veterans who have pending charges in Greenwood, Laurens, Abbeville or Newberry counties.
The purpose of the VCP is to successfully rehabilitate veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and providing them with the tools they will need to lead productive lives. Veterans Court Program participants are offered assistance from fellow veteran mentors, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and veteran service organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Wounded Warrior Project.
The goal of the Veterans Treatment Court is to help the men and women who served our Nation and honor their service by providing needed substance abuse counseling, mental health treatments and assistance with other needs unique to veterans.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Veterans who are:
- Charged with misdemeanor and/or felony offense(s) in the Eighth Circuit that are deemed acceptable for participation in the Program by the Solicitor’s Office;
- Eligible for veterans services benefits;
- Diagnosed with a treatable behavioral, mental health and/or chemical dependency problem.
Treatment may include but is not limited to: Anger Management or Domestic Abuse counseling; Family/Marriage counseling; Substance Abuse/Mental Health counseling and other therapies geared toward PTSD and other combat-related trauma.
WHAT IS REQUIRED?
The Solicitor’s Office will review and present cases to the Veterans Treatment Court Director. The Solicitor’s Office has the final authority to accept or refuse applications to the Program. Successful completion of the Veterans Treatment Court program will result in the dismissal of charges and the charge(s) may be eligible for expungement.
Performance, compliance and sobriety determine how long a veteran remains in the program. All participants spend a minimum of twelve (12) months under the supervision of the Veterans Court.
The Veterans Treatment Court program employs escalating sanctions in response to non-compliance with program requirements. Should the veteran use drugs or alcohol, miss counseling or court appointments, become medically non-compliant, display a poor attitude, or in any other way NOT comply with the program requirements, the Judge will order sanctions. These sanctions include, but are not limited to community service, additional counseling sessions, increased drug testing, jail time or dismissals from the program.
By entering the Veterans Court program, the veteran acknowledges that he/she will be subject to sanctions for non-compliance that include partial or full revocation of bond and the service of jail time.
- Legal, mental health, alcohol and drug use assessments to establish treatment needs;
- Screening by the VA to determine eligibility to services;
- Veterans Court appearances as directed by the Program Director;
- Weekly attendance to AA/NA or other self-help meetings, if required;
- Weekly routine drug testing, if required;
- Compliance with treatments as required by VA clinical staff;
- Compliance with requirements for other rehabilitation services: job training, employment or medical;
- Other requirements as defined in the individualized treatment plan.
Veterans Court Director
8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office
PO Box 516
Greenwood, SC 29648