The Armstrong County Veterans Treatment Court is a specialized treatment court designed to provide an alternative program for Armstrong County’s veterans facing criminal charges, many of whom are dealing with mental health and addiction issues. The goal of Veterans Treatment Court is to rehabilitate and restore veterans as active, contributing members of their community all the while addressing the criminal action.
The Court is participating with the Armstrong County District Attorney, the Office of the Public Defender, the Probation Department, and other community organizations in order to identify qualified veterans. Veterans who participate will come before judges on a regular basis, receive support and guidance from veteran mentors, be supervised by a specialized probation officer and receive treatment and support from the Veterans Administration to address underlying problems often caused by post-traumatic stress disorders.
Veterans Courts first began in Pennsylvania in 2009 and since then thousands of Pennsylvania veterans have graduated various programs throughout the state. Armstrong County is the 21st county in Pennsylvania to open a Veterans Court.
HOW IT BEGAN
ACMH Hospital was part of a coalition to develop a Veterans Treatment Court, led by Armstrong County Court of Common Pleas. The program is designed as an alternative to incarceration for veterans who meet clinical criteria (PTSD, traumatic brain injury, drug/alcohol addiction and mental health disorders.) Post plea/pre-sentencing veterans participate in an intensive two-year process that includes drug testing, medical and mental health care, attendance in 12-step or faith-based programs for those with substance abuse problems and regularly scheduled treatment court meetings. The treatment court team makes available all the necessary resources to help veterans reenter as productive members of the community. Program components include medical care, childcare, transportation, assistance with finding jobs and housing, and rewards for positive behavior.
If you have any questions or interest in the Veterans Court Program, please contact Kayla Pitzerell with the probation department at 724-548-3491.