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First Judicial District Veterans Treatment Court celebrates first graduation

Friday, December 4, 2015

GOLDEN, Colo. – The First Judicial District Veterans Treatment Court will celebrate its first graduation ceremony Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, marking more than 18 months of dedication by the first military veteran to have successfully completed the intensive treatment and monitoring program.

The ceremony is set for 10 a.m. in Courtroom 4D at the Jefferson County Courthouse, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, in Golden.

“We appreciate and respect the significant sacrifices our veterans have made to ensure our nation’s freedom,” said District Judge Margie Enquist, who presides over the Veterans Treatment Court. “We also know that some veterans return from service with mental health conditions related to their service, struggle with addiction and/or have PTSD.  Left untreated, such conditions contribute to their involvement in the criminal justice system. This program was founded on the premise that veterans deserve the opportunity to engage in treatment, have access to resources and receive community support.”

Like other problem-solving courts in Colorado and elsewhere, the Veterans Treatment Court ensures community safety while ensuring participants are accountable for their actions and gain the treatment needed to help rebuild their lives. Participants in the voluntary program agree to actively engage in treatment and counseling, make regular court appearances, and are intensively supervised.

Eligible military veterans with trauma spectrum disorders and/or substance abuse issues may be diverted to the Veterans Treatment Court on decisions made by a team including personnel from the First Judicial District courts and Probation Department, prosecutors, public defenders, local law enforcement, treatment professionals, the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center and others.

The program, which now has 29 participants, began in April 2014.

It is one of nearly 80 problem-solving courts operating in Colorado, including adult and juvenile drug courts, family/dependency-and-neglect drug courts, DUI courts, adult and juvenile mental health courts, veteran trauma courts and truancy courts.

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