The Veterans Treatment Court program is designed to assist military veterans involved with the criminal justice system through treatment intervention with immediate judicial review that supports addressing potential co-occurring substance abuse and trauma issues.
It is the mission of the Hall County Veterans Treatment Court to provide alternatives to incarceration for veterans of the Armed Services with misdemeanor and felony offenses by linking those individuals to local, community-based treatment resources with the goal of reducing recidivism and helping to prevent further involvement in the criminal justice system. Additionally, we strive to promote public safety and to support and assist veterans and their families. We accomplish this by responding, coordinating, and advocating for integration to community resources and providing a path to wellness, recovery, and rehabilitation.
Both misdemeanor and felony offenses are accepted. The criminal offense must have a direct nexus to behaviors related to substance use or mental health disorders. Veterans entering the program with felony charges may be pre-plea, post-plea/pre-sentence, post-plea/post-sentence, or probation revocation. Participants entering the misdemeanor track most often enter post-plea/post-sentence, and participation in the program is made a requirement of probation. Sentencing may be withheld for some post-plea cases but this is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Some factors may exclude certain individuals from being eligible for the Veterans Court Program. These factors include:
Referrals for Veterans Treatment Court participation come from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, the Gainesville Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, the Solicitor-General’s Office, the Hall County Detention Center, private defense attorneys, and other accountability court programs.
“Veterans Treatment Court opened my eyes to issues that I have. I used alcohol as a way to numb my emotions or issues that I did not want to face. Being in the program has forced me to face those issues sober. Working with staff has helped and will continue helping me face and work through issues in my life.”
“When I started this program I was a ‘hot mess’. I had an order that kept me from contacting my children, I was piling on debt, and my wife was in a separate rehab facility. Fast forward through the program; I have gotten my kids back full time, I am out of debt, I started a successful business, my relationship with my wife is 100% better, and my life is back on track. Without this program none of these successes would have been possible. I owe my life to Veterans Treatment Court. It literally saved me and my family.”
“Upon entering HVT, some 5 years or so ago, I was in very poor shape, both mentally and physically. This program, I know has saved my life. Not only am I clean and sober today, but I’ve since become service connected which has helped me to better understand my mental health and how my substance abuse came to bring me to near self-destruction. Through the accountability of VTC I’ve been given the opportunity to clear my head so that I could retrain my brain and live a healthy, fun, clean and sober life.”