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4th Judicial District Veterans Trauma Court named national mentor court

Thursday, April 6, 2017

COLORADO SPRINGS – The 4th Judicial District’s Veterans Trauma Court (VTC) has been selected by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Justice for Vets program as one of four courts in the United States to serve as a mentor court for new VTC programs across the country. 

The VTC was selected for its overall excellence in providing treatment options and an alternative to incarceration for U.S. military veterans and active duty military personnel with trauma spectrum disorders and/or substance abuse issues who have proven to be high risk and high need.

Justice for Vets Major General (ret.) Clyde “Butch” Tate will meet with the VTC team on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at noon in courtroom W350 of the El Paso County Courthouse (270 S. Tejon, Colorado Springs, CO 80901) and present them with a plaque to commemorate the achievement. Media and public are invited to attend the celebration.

“We are humbled and honored to be recognized by Justice for Vets for what we have accomplished since this Court was launched in December 2009,” said District Court Judge David Shakes, who presides over the VTC docket. “We look forward to sharing our best practices and assisting courts across the country as they build these very important programs.”

 Judge Shakes is a retired United States Army Judge Advocate and has been a district court judge for more than 10 years.

In addition to the 4th Judicial District’s VTC, the 13th Judicial District: Courts Assisting Military Offenders in Billings, MT; the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court in Buffalo, NY; and the 4th Judicial Circuit Duvall County Veterans Treatment Court in Jacksonville, FL, were also selected as mentor courts.

“These Veteran Treatment Courts are a shining example of how the courts, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the community can come together to honor our veterans by ensuring they receive the services and treatment they need to recover,” Justice for Vets Director Scott Swaim said. “As mentor courts, these programs are helping to transform the U.S. justice system by providing support to service men and women who would otherwise be incarcerated.”

Since its inception, the 4th Judicial District VTC has enrolled 354 participants and graduated 223 from the program. There are currently 78 vets enrolled and actively participating in the Court. The VTC is state and locally grant funded.

The 4th Judicial District VTC is a collaborative effort among local, state and federal partners. The core of the team includes the 4th Judicial District and associated justice-related agencies, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Family Care Center, Operation TBI Freedom (Craig Hospital), Rocky Mountain Human Services, Peak Research LLC, UCCS Trauma Health and Hazards Clinic, U.S. Army Warrior Transition Program and the Pikes Peak Workforce Center.

For more information on the 4th Judicial District VTC click here

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