Veterans Treatment Court marks 2nd group graduation

 The Washtenaw County Veterans Treatment Court will celebrate its second group graduation at 3 p.m. today in the Ann Arbor Justice Center at 301 E. Huron Street, Ann Arbor. The ceremony will highlight the accomplishments of five veterans who have completed the rigorous treatment court program. The graduation ceremony will include Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget Mary McCormack as keynote speaker, individualized recognition of each graduating participant, and a reception after the ceremony.

The Washtenaw County Veterans Treatment Court, that celebrated its second anniversary in October, was started by Judge Christopher Easthope in October 2012 to serve Washtenaw County veterans in the justice system through a specialized treatment court that focuses on substance abuse and mental health treatment while providing them with a community environment that encourages law-abiding behavior. Judge Easthope, along with a dedicated team of volunteers and professionals, strives to coordinate mental health and substance abuse services while providing necessary housing and family support.
In September, the Michigan Supreme Court, through the State Court Administrative Office, awarded the Washtenaw County Veterans Treatment Court with a second Michigan Veterans Treatment Court Grant Program grant for $82,632.85, funds used for participant treatment, compliance incentives, bus passes, and drug and alcohol testing. Since 2013, the Washtenaw County Veterans Treatment Court has received $173,911.85 in grant funding.
There are over 100 Veterans Treatment Courts across the United States. The Washtenaw County Veterans Treatment Court is a judicially supervised court docket that reduces correctional costs, enhances community safety, and improves public welfare. Veterans Treatment Courts combine rigorous treatment and accountability for veterans facing incarceration due to charges stemming from substance abuse or mental health issues. They promote sobriety, recovery and stability through a coordinated response and the understanding that the bonds of military service and combat run deep. Veterans Treatment Courts not only allow veterans to go through the treatment court process with other veterans who are similarly situated and have common past experiences, but links them with Veterans Affairs services uniquely designed for the distinct needs that arise from their service. Veterans Treatment Courts expedite access to veteran-specific resources, including benefits and treatment earned through military service, by involving the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care networks, the Veterans Benefits Administration, State Departments of Veterans Affairs, volunteer veteran mentors, Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs, and veteran’s family support organizations.
 

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