Hays County Veteran Treatment Court
The Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) is a 12-24 month, 3 phased, specialized treatment court designed to address the unique needs of Honorably Discharged Veterans and currently serving active duty service members of the U. S. Military. The goal is to promote sobriety, recovery, and stability through a coordinated effort involving the cooperation and collaboration of the multidisciplinary VTC team on many different levels. Typically, veteran participants are those who have been charged with misdemeanor criminal offenses. The VTC essentially diverts these veteran-defendants from traditional or other specialty courts to a specialized criminal court docket specifically crafted for them and in tune with their unique cultures, attributes and needs. The successful completion of the Hays County program results in the erasure of the participant’s case-related criminal records.
The mission of Veteran Treatment Court is to successfully rehabilitate veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and provide them with the tools they need to lead a productive and law-abiding lifestyle.
Who is Eligible for Veteran Treatment Court?
Program eligible Veterans are those in the criminal justice system for behavior connected to physical and emotional injuries sustained during their service during deployments to hazardous duty locations, war zones, or conditions developed during service that have bearing on the defendant’s particular criminal conduct. In Hays County, eligible veterans, are identified through jail and court screening and assessments, lawyer and District Attorney-referrals, and self-referrals. Participation is voluntary on the part of the veteran-defendant subject to the consent of the attorney representing the state and the Veterans Treatment Court team.
“It was a privilege and honor to be here (in the Veterans Treatment Court). Part of being privileged is to be responsible and to follow guidelines … this is another opportunity to better our lives, so take advantage of it. It was a great opportunity to work with these people (VTC staff).” – Mr. “E,” a 2016 graduate of the Veterans Treatment Court.
Contact: Laura Balo, Veterans Court Coordinator, 512-878-6677 Laura.Balo@co.hays.tx.us
This program is supported by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance. The Fund for Veterans’ Assistance provides grants to organizations serving Texas Veterans and their families.