Veterans’ Health

Grantee Name

New York State Unified Court System

Funding Area

Veterans’ Health

Publication Date

December 2015

Grant Amount

$241,118

Grant Date:

July 2010 – August 2012

An alarming number of returning veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and substance use issues.

Sometimes these challenges lead to involvement with the criminal justice system. First developed in 2008, the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) is a specialized court model that intervenes in cases for minor criminal acts involving veterans and seeks to meet the unique needs of these returning veterans by offering culturally sensitive support for mental health, substance use, unemployment, and homelessness. This court was the first of its kind in the nation to offer services to rehabilitate veterans and successfully reintegrate them into their communities. In 2009, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) funded the New York State Unified Court System to conduct an evaluation of the Buffalo VTC program and identify the key elements of its success. In 2010, NYSHealth awarded New York State Unified Court System a second grant to replicate the VTC in 10 jurisdictions across New York State.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Developed and conducted two trainings in White Plains in the spring of 2011, both of which were rated highly by participants;
  • Trained representatives from 14 State jurisdictions, exceeding its original goal of 10 courts;
  • Established VTCs in these 14 jurisdictions; and
  • Continued to make the training program available to State courts.