King County ‘Veterans Court’ exceeding expectations

Regional Veterans Court is a specialized track within King County District Court that connects veterans in the justice system to health and behavioral health treatment, housing, and other services they may need to re-stabilize their lives.

  • Monday, November 10, 2014 3:28pm
  • News

From a press release:

As Veterans Day approaches, King County Executive Dow Constantine congratulated King County District Court on the success of its Regional Veterans Court, which has far exceeded initial projections by serving 54 veterans after its first two years of operation.

“The best way we can honor the men and women who have served our country is to ensure they have the opportunity to succeed when they come home,” said Constantine in a press release. “I’m proud of our combined effort to provide military veterans with the individualized treatment they need to reestablish their civilian lives.”

Regional Veterans Court is a specialized track within King County District Court that connects veterans in the justice system to health and behavioral health treatment, housing, and other services they may need to re-stabilize their lives. The Court helps vets stay out of further involvement in the justice system, and reduces the use of jails and emergency services by veterans.

A team-based approach identifies the underlying issues that led to a veteran’s involvement in the justice system, and develops a personalized treatment plan. Participants receive behavioral health care and social services from the federal and state departments of Veteran Affairs, the King County Veterans Program, and other local providers of veterans services.

“Regional Veterans Court exemplifies the positive results to be gained when courts partner with government and social services agencies,” said Judge Johanna Bender of the Regional Mental Health Court and Regional Veterans Court. “It is inspiring to see our participating veterans regain their health and dignity, and to watch them re-establish positive relationships with family and in the workplace.”

When launched in June 2012, the Court set the goal of serving 15 justice-involved veterans in the first year of operation. At the conclusion of year two, a total of 50 veterans had opted into the voluntary Court program, and by the end of September 2014, that number was up to 54 veterans.

Funding for Regional Veterans Court is provided by the voter-approved King County Veterans and Human Services Levy.

“I am proud that the Veterans and Human Services Levy has been able to provide financial support to help make the Regional Veterans Court program such a success,” said Francisco Ivarra, chair of the Veterans Citizen Oversight Board. “On behalf of the board, I congratulate the Veterans Court on their second anniversary and thank them for their efforts to help our local veterans.”

Read the full progress report on King County Regional Veterans Court here.

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