08 Jun Criminal Law Blog: Veterans Court
Criminal Law Blog: Marion County Veterans Court
When United States soldiers return from serving our military, they can sometimes come back with addiction issues or mental health problems that civilians cannot understand. This can lead to issues of drug or alcohol abuse. To help those brave individuals who put their life on the line for our freedom, Marion County (Indianapolis) has implemented a problem-solving court specifically for veterans.
The purpose of Veterans Court is to rehabilitate those individuals who have served in the armed forces and have found themselves in the criminal court system. Instead of punishing them by incarceration, the Veterans Court uses treatment to positively change their behavior. This helps end the cyclical nature of repeat offenders and assists them in living a sober life as productive community members.
Key Components of the Veterans Court
The Veterans Court uses a non-adversarial approach to monitor vets in the court system by ensuring accountability for criminal behavior through support and resources to address underlying problems that are at the root of the problem.
The Indianapolis Veterans Court (IVC) is designed to provide a welcoming environment with structured treatment, close court supervision, and supportive interventions to prevent veterans from resorting to criminal activity.
The Court gives vets the resources to access to medical, mental, alcohol, and drug treatment and rehabilitation services. This allows those who fought for our country another chance to get their life on track before entering the criminal system.
The program is not easy, as it requires the individual to be sober and lead a law-abiding life by completing a treatment plan. This plan starts immediately upon the veteran’s first appearance in court.
Program Requirements for Veterans Court
To be eligible for Veterans Court, an individual must meet or complete certain requirements. They must be a current or former military member, be charged with a misdemeanor or felony that is not considered a serious violent or sexual offense, agree to release military and criminal background information, sign a voluntary participation agreement, admit to the facts of the crime at hand and comply with all program requirements such as ongoing monitoring and interaction with the court, case manager, and mentor.
Veterans Court is one of the rare times when the Prosecutor and Defense are on the same side, both wanting to help the defendant rehabilitate, get the treatment they need and get back to normal life while staying out of the criminal justice system.
Benefits of Veterans Court
Not only does each Veteran who completes the program benefit personally, but so does society. Veterans Court lowers the amount of repeat crime and saves the community (and taxpayers) money because of reduced incarceration.
Additionally, the program participant is matched with a mentor who is also a vet, giving them a direct point of contact to walk with them through the program who also understands the difficulties of life during and after military service.
Indianapolis Criminal Defense Attorneys
Chambers Law Office works with clients in Indianapolis and throughout central Indiana in Veterans Courts and other problem solving courts, including drug courts and mental health courts. If you are a veteran or a loved one of a veteran facing criminal charges, Chambers Law Office can help. Call 317-450-2971 to speak with an attorney.