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June 22, 2013

"Executive Summary: National Survey of Veterans Treatment Courts"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper on SSRN by Julie Marie Baldwin.  Here is the abstract:

This summary reports the major results from the author’s dissertation research using data collected from a national survey administered to 79 Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) in 2012.  This research produced a comprehensive national overview of VTCs; the complete findings, additional analysis, and an in-depth case study of a VTC can be found in her dissertation titled “Veterans Treatment Courts: Studying Dissemination, Implementation, and Impact of Treatment-Oriented Criminal Courts” (University of Florida).

And here are just a few of the notable findings from the paper's list of 28 "key findings":

VTCs are actively operating in most states with increases in membership and continuing to disseminate nationwide.

About one in five eligible veterans opt out or drop out, primarily because they consider the VTC program too rigorous or they do not want treatment....

The majority of VTC participants are male, white, and between 21 and 30 years of age; served in OIF/OEF/OND and in the Army; and have veteran status and trauma experience....

In the VTC participant population, there is a significant overrepresentation of veterans who are African American, Hispanic or Latino, under the age of 40, from the OIF/OEF/OND era, or served in the Marine Corps.

Drug-related offenses were the most reported type of offense to bring male and female veterans to VTC.

The majority of male and female VTC participants face substance abuse, mental health, and family challenges.

The majority of VTCs broadly define their target populations in their mission statements, but nearly half of VTCs exclude veterans who have been dishonorably discharged or have a current felony charge.

Funding sources vary between VTCs, and slightly less than half receive funding outside of their traditional court budget.

Most VTCs have a single judge, use a reward/sanction ladder, operate at the county level, and utilize peer mentors....

Overall, VTCs evaluate many areas of possible need and offer a wide variety of services to participants, including mental health, substance abuse, housing, vocational, and transportation services....

All VTCs require participants to attend treatment sessions, and the majority require participants to frequently appear in court and check in with VTC personnel, sign a contract, plead guilty, and go on probation....

Passing drug screens was the most difficult requirement for both male and female participants; however, difficulty levels with all other requirements varied by sex....

Overall, the majority of respondents believe there is definitely or probably a relationship between military service, personal challenges, and involvement in the criminal justice system.

June 22, 2013 at 02:05 PM | Permalink


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"... probably a relationship between military service, personal challenges, and involvement in the criminal justice system."

These courts are subtle criticisms of the Bush Administration decision to go to war to save this country. The crimes are Bush's fault, they imply. These criminals are innocent victims of war mongering.

The facts of the study say otherwise. They say that veteran criminals have the profiles of non-veteran criminals, and less the profiles of non-criminal veterans. The similarity to non-veteran criminals is across the board, demographic, psychiatric (though not assessed for rates of anti-social personality disorder), trauma (see the daily trauma of living in the Hood, probably more dangerous than Fallujah because of the lower rates of bastardy in Fallujah, and the preservation of some family values and religiosity in Fallujah), substance abuse, homelessness so that money for drugs is not wasted on home costs.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 23, 2013 10:46:36 AM

One wants the rates of antisocial personality. One wants the rates of bastardy. One wants the rates of prior criminality, lied about to the recruiter.

Because veterans are superior to the general population, have military skills and training, they are more dangerous than other similar criminals. Being a veteran should enhance the incapacitating sentence. Instead, the lawyer living in the Twilight Zone mitigates the sentences.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 24, 2013 3:41:58 AM

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