Today on the show, Hunter is joined by David Pelletier, a Project Director in the Justice for Veterans division of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, to discuss Veteran Treatment Courts. Founded by a lone judge in Buffalo, New York, Veteran Treatment Courts follow in the 30|PLUS| year tradition of broader treatment courts. These courts all seek to offer alternatives to incarceration that drive towards the root causes of someone’s involvement with the criminal legal system through a culturally competent lens.


For Veteran’s Treatment Court, the goal is to offer veterans suffering with acute medical needs a path towards recovery through a process that saves them from lengthy counter productive prison stints. As David shares, these individualized courts that drive at eliminating the root causes that landed someone tied up with the legal system. Yet while the success of the courts is not in question, the courts offer much more for communities to consider.


In many places, communities find themselves holding two thing ideals: they should be tough on crime, but they should also be caring to their veteran populations, and this is where Veteran Treatment Courts have so much potential. By adopting Veteran Treatment Courts, these communities are exposed to the power of viewing each person through a holistic and individualized lens. Hopefully, this may lead communities to consider other treatment courts or even expanding access to care before someone ever becomes entangled with the legal system.


After this conversation, you will hopefully walk away feeling inspired to think about the ways you could help kickstart similar non-carceral interventions in your own community!!