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4th Judicial District Veterans Trauma Court celebrates 10th anniversary

Monday, December 2, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Seven participants in the Veterans Trauma Court in the 4th Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties) are expected to graduate from the intensive monitoring and treatment program during a ceremony that also will mark the program’s 10-year anniversary.

The ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Jury Room of the El Paso County Judicial Building, 270 S. Tejon Street, in Colorado Springs.

The Veterans Trauma Court (VTC) provides an alternative to incarceration for U.S. military veterans and active-duty military personnel with trauma spectrum disorders and/or substance use disorder. Participants agree to engage in treatment and counseling, make regular court appearances and are intensively supervised while in the program, which can take up to 18 months to complete. It was the first VTC in Colorado and one of the first in the United States to work with veterans charged with felonies.

In 2016, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals named the 4th Judicial District VTC a national peer training court. The VTC team has helped train nearly 90 team members from 17 similar programs starting around the country.

“We are very proud of all the graduates who have worked so hard and exhibited great dedication to complete the program and start to turn their lives around,” said District Judge David Shakes, who presides over the VTC. “The whole team is thrilled to celebrate this milestone, and we look forward to continuing to help those who have given so much to serve their country.”

Since its inception, 488 veterans have entered the VTC program, and 326 successfully completed its requirements. There are 91 veterans enrolled as of November 2019.

The VTC is one of 76 problem-solving courts operating in 20 of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts. Problem-solving courts include adult and juvenile drug courts, family courts, DUI courts and mental health courts.

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