On November 8, 2017, NYSHealth held a conversation with leaders from the veterans community focused on creating, expanding, and strengthening Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) and resources available to justice-involved veterans.

Speakers were the Honorable Judge Robert Russell, founder of the nation’s first VTC, and a panel of stakeholders: Major General (ret.) Clyde “Butch” Tate, Chief Counsel of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals; Nick Stefanovic, a graduate of the Rochester VTC; Siobhan Dannaker, a Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator at the Bronx VA; and Samuel Holmes, Charitable Investments Officer at the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

Judge Russell shared the origins and rationale behind the founding of the first VTC, the hurdles he faced when creating it, and the factors that make these courts so successful. The panelists discussed the efforts that have gone into strengthening and supporting existing VTCs, what else needs to be done in this field moving forward, and how advocates, funders, and nonprofits can contribute to the expansion of this vital resource.

Read a related NYSHealth-produced policy brief highlighting the origins of VTCs, their expansion throughout the State, and recommendations to ensure that every justice-involved veteran in New York has access to a VTC.

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