Veterans Trauma Courts. Hon. Ronald Crowder District Court Judge 4 th Judicial District of Colorado

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1 Veterans Trauma Courts Hon. Ronald Crowder District Court Judge 4 th Judicial District of Colorado

2 US Veterans US Population: 308 million Current Active and Reserve: 2.4 million.75% of US Population Total Veterans: 22.7 million 7 % of US Population 8% Vets are female

3 Post 9/11 Veterans: Who are they? Over 2.4 million deployed to the Global War on Terror (GWOT) Approximately one half have deployed more than once to Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Over 1.4 million currently separated from active duty AND eligible for VA services

4 Reserve and National Guard 254,000 Reservists and 332,000 National Guard members have deployed to OEF/OIF as of 2010 National Guard OEF/OIF Veterans tend to be older, with an average age of 37 30% of Reserve and National Guard members identify themselves as a member of a racial or ethnic minority Increased stress on families, employment, and housing

5 Women Veterans 15% of today s military Over 280,000 served in OEF/OIF 12% 16% are single parents Approximately 10% of homeless Veterans < 45 Twice as likely to become homeless than non Veteran women

6 Homelessness 75,000 Homeless Veterans Veterans twice as likely to become homeless as non Veterans Homeless veterans tend to be older and more educated than homeless non veterans Criminal involvement is single best predicator of future homelessness About 45% suffer from mental illness and slightly over 70% suffer from substance abuse problems

7 Unemployment Unemployed Veterans: In 2008, 18% of recently separated Veterans In 2009, 21% of Male Veterans, aged In 2010, 12.1% of GWOT Vets compared to 9.1% Nationally Sept 2012, 6.7% compared to 7.8% Nationally

8 Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Both sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurs in military settings. 60% of women with Military Sexual Trauma also suffered from PTSD.

9 Suicide Suicide Hotline received roughly 10,000 phone calls a month (2010) Women Veterans are 2 to 3 times more likely to commit suicide than non Veteran women Incarcerated Veterans have the highest risk of suicide

10 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Traumatic Brain Injury 1 in 5 Veterans report symptoms of a mental disorder In 2010, an estimated 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or major depression Repeated deployments increase the likelihood of PTSD Estimated 320,000 GWOT Veterans may have experienced a TBI ranging from mild to severe Slightly less than 50% of service members with TBI also have PTSD

11 Substance Abuse 1 in 4 Veterans ages met criteria for substance abuse disorder in million vets met the criteria for having a substance abuse disorder in 2006 A 2000 Bureau of Justice Statistics study found 81% of all justice involved veterans had a substance abuse problem prior to incarceration. 35% were identified as suffering from alcohol dependency 23% were homeless at some point in the prior year 25% were identified as mentally ill.

12 Justice involved Veterans Less likely to be arrested or incarcerated Average 9 10% of criminal justice population Approx 80% with Honorable/General discharge 57% violent offenders compared to 47% of non Veterans Reported longer sentences for all crime types Expected increase from Iraq and Afghanistan Bureau of Justice Statistics

13 Justice involved Vets Cont. Veterans in the Criminal Justice System 2007 Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Probation 399,300 Parole Supervised Release 75,000 Local Jail 72,600 State Prison 136,800 Federal Prison 19,300 Total Correctional 703,000 Adults Arrested 1,159,500

14 The National Clearinghouse for Veterans Treatment Courts at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals History of Veterans Treatment Courts First Veterans Treatment Court, January of 2008 Buffalo, NY A Hybrid Drug and Mental Health Court (combine) Provides veterans with intensive treatment and other services while holding them accountable to the court, society, their families and themselves Frequent court appearances and random drug tests Rewards for positive behavior and sanctions for negative

15 The National Clearinghouse for Veterans Treatment Courts at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Veterans Treatment Courts Today There are currently 80 VTC s operating in the Nation Growing at five times the rate of Drug Courts Over 100 more being planned Changing the way our Criminal Justice System and the VA treats veterans

16 1 Veterans Treatment Courts Mentor Courts Buffalo, NY Tulsa, OK Orange Co., CA Santa Clara Co., CA

17 COLORADO SPRINGS VETERANS TRAUMA COURT FIRST IN NATION DOING FELONIES Now District and County Court MODEL: DRUG/ALCOHOL/MENTAL HEALTH COURTS Frequent appearance reviews before judge IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES OR REWARDS STAFFINGS (immediately prior to calling docket), Judge, District Attorney, Public Defender Veterans Justice Outreach DHS Representatives and DHS VTC Program Coordinator Mental Health Evaluator Probation Officers PEER SPECIALISTS/MENTORS

18 VTC Mentor/Peer Programs Volunteers with prior or current military service Help Veterans navigate the Court, VA, and treatment systems Assess other needs to help them adjust to civilian life Do Not serve as Counselors

19 Target Population/Eligibility Combat vs. Non combat Violent Offenders some limitations Active Duty, Reservists, National Guard High Risk, High Need Military Discharge Status Not an issue VA Eligibility Not an issue

20 COLORADO SPRINGS STATISTICS DEMOGRAPHICS 96% Male / 4% Female 77% White / 11% African American / 7% American Indian / 4% Multi Racial 17% Hispanic / Latino Ethnicity Mean Age = 30 61% report Some College or more as highest level of education 27% enrolled in School or Job Training full or part time at Baseline Interview 33% Unemployed/Looking for Work at Baseline Interview 41% Employed Full or Part Time at Baseline Interview 15% Homeless or Unstably Housed at Baseline Interview

21 COLORADO SPRINGS STATISTICS CONT. MILITARY SERVICE 87% OIF/OEF Era 81% Veteran / 19% Active Duty 95% Served in Combat Theater 0 6 tours of duty reported 2 tours of duty average 54% Honorable Discharge; 28% General (Honorable Conditions); 12% General (Other than Honorable Conditions); 5% Medical Discharge at Baseline Interview 48% have U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Service Connected Disabilities 92% report Military Service Contributed to Medical Problems 100% report Military Service Contributed to Mental Health or Emotional Problems

22 4 TH DISTRICT COURT PARTICIPANTS Participants to date 12 failures (5 DOC sentences) 5 transfers (Interstate Compact) 1 death 32 graduates Currently: Approximately 75 in District Court, 45 in County Court

23 Reduces Crime 75% of Drug Court clients remain arrest free compared to 30% of those released from prison. Reductions in crime last at least 3 years and can endure for over 14 years. Drug Courts reduce crime as much as 45% more than other sentencing options.

24 Saves Money $2.21 in criminal justice costs for every $1.00 invested. $12 for every $1 invested when including other cost offsets such as reduced victimization and healthcare service utilization. Annual cost per prisoner = $32,335 (Colorado) Annual cost per Drug Court participant = $6,985

25 Ensures Compliance Unless substance abusing/addicted offenders are regularly supervised by a judge and held accountable, 70% drop out of treatment prematurely. Provide more comprehensive and closer supervision than other community based supervision programs. 6 times more likely to keep offenders in treatment long enough for them to get better.

26 4 TH JUDICIAL DIST. OUTCOMES Overall health is improving 64% positive at Baseline to 73% positive at most recent interview Functioning in everyday life is improving 36% positive at Baseline to 56% positive at most recent interview 46% positive at Baseline to 62% positive at most recent interview Retention in the community is improving 66% positive at Baseline to 88% positive at most recent interview Education and Employment is improving slightly 63% report attending school or employed/retired at Baseline to 65% at 6 Month Interview

27 4 TH JUDICIAL DIST. OUTCOMES CONT Serious psychological distress is going down 53% report serious psychological distress (SPD) in past 30 days at Baseline to 26% at most recent interview Binge drinking is going down 12% report binge drinking in past 30 days at Baseline to 2% at most recent interview Substance abuse is going down 28% report illegal drug use in past 30 days at Baseline to 12% at most recent interview Criminal Justice System involvement is going down 31% report CJS involvement in past 30 days at Baseline to 5% at most recent interview PTSD is improving 81% meet criteria for PTSD at Baseline 67% meet criteria for PTSD at 6 Months 54% meet criteria for PTSD at 12 Months

28 PIKES PEAK COMMUNITY IMPACT Projected cost savings for the community $1.8 million dollars in community savings possible annually projected over Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) sentences To date, 19 program graduates and 42 active participants have cost the Colorado Springs community $99,430 in probation supervision costs annually; compared to $1.9 million dollars that DOC sentences would have cost the community

29 Medical VA Benefits and Services Substance Abuse Mental Health (to include PTSD) Homeless Services Employment and Vocational Training Education Pension and Disability Payments

30 Who else provides Veterans Benefits and Services? Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department of Labor (DOL) State/County VA Departments Veteran Service Organizations Pro Bono Legal Assistance

31 Veterans Treatment Court Planning Initiative (VTCPI) Funded from Dept. of Justice (DOJ) grant 5 day training program (presentations, breakout sessions, and court visit) Travel, lodging, and meals at no cost 1 st held in Buffalo, Oct 10; 2 nd in Orange County, CA, Feb 11 Supplemental funding request pending

32 Veterans Treatment Mentor Court Network Funded through a grant from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), SAMHSA Research, training, and technical assistance Buffalo (NY) Veterans Treatment Court Tulsa (OK) Veterans Treatment Court Santa Clara County (CA) Veterans Treatment Court Orange County (CA) Combat Veterans Court

33 Justice For Vets: The National Clearinghouse for Veterans Treatment Courts

34 Justice For Vets SITREP A special note from General (Ret.) Barry McCaffrey: Justice For Vets: The National Clearinghouse for Veterans Treatment Courts SITREP On this Veterans Day as we pause to honor the men and women who have served in the United States military, I would like to take a moment to recognize the outstanding service of our nation s first 45 Veterans Treatment Courts. The United States military instills a sense of discipline, duty and respect that is evident in millions of veterans who return home strengthened by their experience. But we must not forget that some veterans struggle upon their return. For those whose struggles lead them to the criminal justice system, Veterans Treatment Courts are ensuring that we leave no veteran behind. Our criminal justice system has been transformed over the last two decades by dedicated Drug Court professionals who believe that a blend of accountability and compassion can, and should, be the foundation for which we handle our addicted offender population. Now these same professionals are forever changing the way this nation treats veterans when their invisible wounds of war lead them astray. From El Paso, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska; Orange County, California to Buffalo,

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