As a result, there has been a growing recognition within the justice system of the need for special Veterans Courts programs, she said. As of 2014, there were 220 Veterans Courts nationwide and 15 in Ohio as of 2016.
Veterans Courts put together a collaborative interdisciplinary team including the prosecutor, defense counsel, treatment provider, probation department, and Veterans Health and Benefit Administrations, Kennedy said.
“Treatment courts fundamentally understand that veterans are struggling with issues of substance abuse in self-medicating PTSD, TBI, and sexual trauma. (There is an) assessment process to establish a wrap-around treatment plan for the individual,” she said.
In addition Justice Kennedy spoke about two resources available to those with prior military service: the Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Project, which provides legal assistance to Ohio’s veterans and service members; and the Veterans Justice Program, a division of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in which Veterans Justice Outreach specialists work to connect justice involved veterans and service members to benefits and treatment.
More information about these resources can be found by calling 614-387-9070.