Pennsylvania’s Veterans Treatment Courts Make a Difference for Veterans
Pennsylvania’s veteran population ranks fourth in the U.S. with nearly 800,000 veterans as of 2020. Since 2009, Pennsylvania’s Veterans Treatment Courts have been assisting veterans who are charged with crimes and are struggling with addiction, mental illness or other co-occurring disorders.
Veterans Treatment Court participants appear before a judge on a regular basis; receive support and guidance from veteran mentors; and get treatment to address underlying problems often caused by post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2020, 204 veterans out of 268 participants discharged from the program graduated from this specialty court, which is a 76 percent successful graduation rate.
In Pennsylvania, 54 of 67 counties currently have treatment courts (Drug, DUI, Mental Health, and/or Veterans Treatment Court) in which veterans can participate if they meet the eligibility criteria. Additionally, all justice-involved veterans are entitled to a Veteran Justice Outreach (VJO) program specialist to help them navigate the Veterans Affairs system and get them connected with services available to them.