In May of 2015, the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Veterans Treatment Court (“VTC”) was dedicated. The VTC was created to rehabilitate veterans and provide an alternative to incarceration – particularly for individuals who suffered, and continue to suffer, from trauma-related medical and mental health conditions and/or substance abuse issues.
The VTC program provides a unique opportunity for treatment and promotes recovery for military veterans charged with a felony offense. Individuals charged with a felony that may carry a sentence of community control sanctions (commonly referred to as “probation”) are eligible for transfer to the VTC. You can be transferred to the VTC any time after you first appear in court (the appearance known as your “arraignment”), and even after you are convicted and sentenced so long as you have at least twelve months of probation remaining. Individuals facing first, second, or certain third-degree felony charges can also be transferred to the VTC, but only after conviction and sentencing.
Individuals who are considered “high risk” are given priority acceptance into the VTC. You may be considered high risk if you experienced a trauma-related injury, have a mental health diagnosis, or are experiencing issues with substance abuse. Once you are referred to the VTC, you will be qualified to undergo a clinical and administrative assessment, enter into a participation agreement, and be approved by VTC Judge Michael Jackson, a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War.
The VTC treatment program varies based upon individualized need. There are four phases of the program which require between twelve and eighteen months to complete. During your time with the VTC, you are assigned a mentor, are assessed for various needs (such as medical, dental, childcare, etc.), receive an individualized treatment plan based upon your needs, and are subject to random drug and alcohol screens.
Participation in the VTC can provide you the opportunity to address issues with addiction, mental health, and/or trauma-related injuries to both avoid incarceration and promote a healthy, law-abiding future.
You are not required to have VA medical benefits, nor is it required that your injury or disability be service-connected. Nor is eligibility dependent upon your discharge status.
Milano Attorneys is considered among the best in Cleveland, Ohio and surrounding counties, and have experience representing individuals in the VTC. If you are presently on active duty or a veteran and are charged with a felony, we can help you.