Access to Veterans Treatment Courts
January 14, 2019
Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) serve as an alternative to incarceration for veterans with mental health or substance use issues, stop the revolving door of the prison system, and give veterans a chance to get their lives back on track.
Rather than focusing on punishment, VTCs present a nonadversarial, interdisciplinary approach to rehabilitation, where the judge, prosecutor, defense, probation, law enforcement, and case manager work together with representatives from the federal and State Departments of Veterans Affairs, veteran centers, community mental health and substance use treatment providers, and volunteer veteran mentors. VTCs are a proven way to address the unique needs of justice-involved veterans, lower recidivism rates, and help re-engage justice-involved veterans into society. In 2019, NYSHealth awarded Global Strategy Group (GSG) a grant to spearhead a campaign to move New York State toward universal access for veterans to VTCs.
Under this grant, GSG organized a coalition to increase awareness of and access to VTCs. GSG worked with NYSHealth to provide strategic counsel, coalition management, and execution of the overall campaign plan. GSG organized and led a workgroup comprising government officials, law enforcement, State agencies, and local advocates to move New York State toward universal access for veterans to VTCs. GSG and the coalition told the stories of local veterans to build and sustain support for VTCs among key stakeholders and ensure broad, bipartisan support.
In 2020, NYSHealth awarded Global Strategy Group a second grant to continue its campaign to ensure universal VTC access for veterans in New York State.