Hultgren Hosts 14th District Forum on Veterans Treatment Courts
Campton Hills, IL — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) this week hosted representatives from Veterans Assistance Commissions, Service Area Offices, Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC), the Illinois Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health and Justice, and several counties in the state to discuss best practices regarding the implementation of Veterans Treatment Courts.
This year Governor Rauner signed legislation that requires all Circuit Courts to set up Veterans Treatment Courts, which were established to meet the needs of veterans in the criminal justice system, many of who are suffering from mental health issues, traumatic brain injuries or substance abuse.
(Rep. Hultgren hosts forum on Veterans Treatment Courts at Kendall County Courthouse in Yorkville)
“Substance abuse, combat-related mental illnesses and resulting involvement in the criminal justice system are significant and often unaddressed issues within the veteran community,” said Rep. Hultgren. “These men and women who have served our country need our compassion and our help, and a designated, structured justice and treatment system for them is an important part of caring for our veterans.”
Counties that already have a Veterans Treatment Court in place, and who have tailored these courts to the needs of their veterans and active duty servicemen and women, shared best practices for establishing these courts and making them effective and veteran-focused. For example, Lake County incorporated successful elements of their existing drug courts and mental health system into their Veterans Treatment Courts, as veterans who come into the criminal justice system are often in need of this type of assistance.
“I am encouraged by the collaboration and information-sharing that took place at this event, and I look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders in our community to best serve the men and women who have served our country,” Rep. Hultgren said.