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VDCS: Veteran's Court


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VDCS: Veteran's Court

  1. 1. The Kansas City VA Medical Center and Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Court
  2. 2. <ul><li>The mission of the Kansas City Municipal Veterans’ Treatment Court is to offer treatment and services which address the issues of substance abuse, mental health, and other barriers to leading law abiding, productive lives within our community. We will reduce drug and alcohol abuse, lower recidivism rates, and lessen the financial impact on our community through providing comprehensive treatment services and helping our veterans regain their wholeness within the country they have defended. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Protect the Public </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce participant contact with the criminal justice system </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce the cost associated with criminal case processing and re-arrest </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce homelessness </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce participants to an ongoing process of recovery designed to help them become stable, employed and substance abuse free while continuing mental health care </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Kansas City Municipal VTC began in August 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>First Graduation Ceremony - April 21, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Modeled after Judge Robert Russell’s Veterans Treatment Court – January 2008 </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Modeled as a “treatment-based” court </li></ul><ul><li>Hybrid of Mental Health Court and Drug Court </li></ul><ul><li>Veterans are given the opportunity to receive treatment and services as opposed to receiving the “standard” sentence in their case </li></ul><ul><li>Participation is voluntary and comprehensive </li></ul>The Honorable Ardie Bland Municipal Court Judge
  6. 6. <ul><li>Law Enforcement Officers </li></ul><ul><li>Judge Ardie Bland </li></ul><ul><li>Tamara Marler </li></ul><ul><li>Megan Pfannenstiel </li></ul><ul><li>Crystal Pacheco </li></ul><ul><li>Kelly Winship </li></ul><ul><li>Leah Houghton </li></ul><ul><li>Connie Johnson-Cage </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Mentors-Veterans </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>THE COURT </li></ul><ul><li>COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Veteran Affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Benefit Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Prosecuting Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Aid </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Community Service Hours </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer Attorneys </li></ul><ul><li>Task Force – Committees </li></ul><ul><li>Jails </li></ul><ul><li>Other Treatment Courts </li></ul><ul><li>Law Enforcement </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Veteran is placed on the VTC docket </li></ul><ul><li>Dockets are currently set every Wednesday at 2:30pm </li></ul><ul><li>If the Veteran is deemed eligible to participate they then contact the VA for a biopsychosocial assessment </li></ul><ul><li>If they do not wish to participate their case is continued and they are sentenced as usual </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Participation is minimum 12 month program </li></ul><ul><li>Four Phases </li></ul><ul><li>Sanctions and Incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Graduation </li></ul><ul><li>Diversion or charges dismissed/expunged </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Veteran Volunteer Attorney Program (VetVap) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer Attorneys (both Veterans and non-Veterans) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law firms providing pro-bono legal services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have attorneys in Kansas and Missouri </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To date have assisted over 57 veterans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stand Down </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Veterans can pre-register for Legal Services (816) 753-1866 or (816) 519-8805 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limit on number of times served </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Veteran Justice Outreach Coordinator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assists with identifying justice involved Veterans and linking to appropriate treatment services </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Currently have 50 participants in the VTC Program </li></ul><ul><li>Have had 23 graduates </li></ul><ul><li>Have had only one graduate re-offend </li></ul><ul><li>Screened over 113 Veterans for VTC </li></ul><ul><li>Additionally, scores of others have been assisted through the volunteer attorney program and other community legal resources </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>On April 21, 2010, three of the first Veteran’s Court Program participants graduated from the Veteran’s Court Program during a brief ceremony and reception at the Kansas City, MO Municipal Courthouse </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>We hope to soon be able to provide solid data that will show the success of the court program through decreased recidivism into the legal system, rates of successful treatment program completion, maintenance of clean/sober lifestyle, employment, and safe housing. </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>The Mission of the Veterans’ Mentoring Program is to make certain to the best of our abilities that no one is left behind. We will find them, offer them assistance, assess their needs, and help them solve their problems. We will support the veteran through their readjustment to civilian life, assist the veteran navigate through the court, treatment, and VA systems, and act as a mentor, advocate and ally. </li></ul>
  15. 17. <ul><li>Roles and Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit and train volunteer Veterans’ Court mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Assist in the retention of volunteer mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and conduct training for volunteer mentors. </li></ul><ul><li>Assist in supervision of mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Assist in the development of specialized training projects for the program </li></ul><ul><li>Perform all other duties as assigned by Justice Outreach Coordinator and the Judge </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>Roles and Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Attend court sessions when scheduled </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in and lead mentoring sessions with veterans when assigned by the Judge </li></ul><ul><li>Be supportive and understanding of the difficulties veterans face </li></ul><ul><li>Assist the veterans as much as possible to resolve their concerns around the court procedures as well as interactions with the Veteran’s Administration system </li></ul><ul><li>Be supportive and helpful to the other mentors within the program </li></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>Be a veteran </li></ul><ul><li>Commit to program participation for a minimum of one year </li></ul><ul><li>Complete screening process </li></ul><ul><li>Complete the required training procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Be a willing volunteer </li></ul>
  18. 20. <ul><li>Kelly Winship Veteran Justice Outreach Coordinator (816) 861-4700 ext 56155 </li></ul><ul><li>Leah Houghton (816) 861-4700 ext 56123 </li></ul><ul><li>Connie Johnson-Cage (913) 207-2045 or [email_address] </li></ul>
  19. 21. Questions