by Kristina Derro
Cooperative efforts between the VA and several local state courts have allowed for the implementation of a specialty court. These specialty courts around the state of Michigan (with many others in different states as well) give service members from World War II up through the recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts rehabilitation from drug addition, alcohol abuse, theft, vagrancy, and other nonviolent crimes that stem from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other war-related symptoms.
It is up to the local court, through its judges, staff, and probation department, to adjust their dockets to allow for the program. However, the treatment itself is paid for entirely by the VA. It is a unique way of handling non-violent crimes instead of the usual jail-time or probation. It allows the veteran to be treated for the underlying conditions leading to the commission of these crimes in the first instance.