A recent New Haven Register article highlighted two programs that help arrested veterans avoid jail time by receiving treatment for mental health and substance abuse problems. The Veterans Health Administration and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services run the programs in the courts statewide and report success in helping veterans get their lives back on track.
If a veteran agrees to enter the programs, a social worker recommends treatment options to the court and, upon the judge’s approval, guides the veteran through the treatment process. The crimes for which these programs are available range from motor vehicle violations to domestic violence charges to car thefts.
Both agencies cite statistics attesting to their programs’ success. Around 81% of veterans who participated in the Veterans Health Administration program have not been arrested again. The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ program reports a 36% drop in illegal drug use and a 44% decrease of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.