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Webinar: Forensic Social Work Practice: Military Veterans in the Criminal Justice System
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Mar 23, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (ET)
Register at the link above using your NASW username and password.
Cost: SPS Members: Free / NASW Members: $20 / Non-NASW Members: $30
CE: 1 Cross Cultural Contact Hour
Presenter: Bradley J. Schaffer, LMSW, BCD, FSW
The nexus between military veterans and the court system is not a new phenomenon. The intersecting sequel is comprised of age old punitive and adversarial versus rehabilitation, the concept of therapeutic jurisprudence where the veteran is in the cross-hairs of legal entanglement. Arguably, there is no greater challenge to the social work professional than intervening and advocating for clients in the criminal justice system (CJS). The first problem-solving veteran’s court started in Anchorage, Alaska in 2004 and that was followed in 2008 by the creation of the Buffalo, NY Veterans Treatment Courts. Since then the number of VTCs implemented across the country has grown dramatically to over 500. The VTC serves military veterans utilizing a combination of several problem-solving court models based on drug treatment and/or mental health treatment courts. Substance abuse or mental health treatment is offered as a diversion alternative to incarceration. Typically, veteran mentors assist with the programs. An important issue that has to be addressed is the eligibility for veteran’s courts in terms of whether charges involving felonies or crimes of violence will be allowed.
Given the issues veterans are confronting, the trend will is expected to continue. In fact, a similar concept is a Magistrate Veteran Diversion program. VTC provide veterans the opportunity to pursue appropriate treatment, while productively addressing associated legal problems and are open to any current or former member of any branch of the United States Armed Services, including the Reserves and National Guard. After criminal charges or probation or parole violations have been filed against a veteran, the case may be referred to the VTC for consideration.
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