STOCKTON – The San Joaquin Superior Court is pleased to announce that the San Joaquin Veterans Treatment Court presided over by Judge Barbara A. Kronlund will celebrate its second graduating class on Monday, October 3, 2016 at 9 a.m. in Department 42 of the Stockton Courthouse located at 222 E. Weber Avenue, Stockton, California. San Joaquin implemented its Veterans Treatment Court in February 2015. Since that time, the Court has had three veterans graduate, one is now a successful law student and another is a valued, salaried employee of the Veterans Administration in Palo Alto. The graduates credit the program for turning their lives around, addressing their issues, and improving their relationships with family and friends. Five veterans are presently on track to graduate on October 3rd .

A goal of Veterans Treatment Court is to provide an alternative to the criminal justice system for veterans charged with certain criminal offenses. The program is a combination of judicial supervision, justice partner collaborative efforts and appropriate treatment and support. The San Joaquin Veterans Treatment Court is a collaborative effort between the court and other agencies, such as the County Veterans Services Office, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services, the Office of the Sheriff for San Joaquin County, District Attorney’s and Public Defender’s Offices. This unique collaboration focuses on a treatment-based alternative to incarceration for veterans in the community charged with committing crimes linked to issues such as traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health issues resulting from the veteran’s service in the U.S. armed forces.

Veterans Treatment Courts combine rigorous treatment and personal accountability, with a goal of breaking the cycle of drug use and criminal behavior and for the veteran to lead a productive life as a contributing member of the community. Each participant in the program is partnered with a mentor who is a combat vet. Each mentor acts as a coach, role model and advocate, sharing experiences, guiding the veteran through the program and lending support when needed.

Nationwide, there is a 98% success rate for participants of Veterans Treatment Courts, resulting in lower recidivism rates and providing cost savings for counties and taxpayers.

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