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New Veterans Drug Court Focuses on Rehabilitating Our Soldiers Through Mental Health Treatment
Date:5/28/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Buffalo Veterans' Treatment Court in Buffalo, N.Y., which addresses the increasing number of veterans entering the criminal justice system -- more than 300 veterans in 2007 alone. The goal is to reduce the percentage of veterans who suffer from co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders by considering the experience of war before sentencing, and by helping former soldiers find treatment. Over the past two years, several courts, including the Rochester Drug Treatment Court in Rochester, N.Y., began serving veterans through their existing drug court programs. Buffalo established the nation's first court dedicated to the treatment of veterans.

"The Buffalo Veterans' Treatment Court presents a unique opportunity to help veterans in trouble with the law," said NADCP Board Member Emeritus and Buffalo City Court Judge Robert T. Russell, Jr. "Many Veterans are known to have a warrior's mentality and for many they do not address their treatment needs for physical and psychological health care. Many who are referred to the Veterans' Treatment Court are homeless, helpless, in despair, suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, and many others with serious mental illnesses. Their lives have been spiraling out of control."

"Judge Russell and his team were forward-thinking when they created this much needed intervention for America's veterans. Our troops, who put their lives on the line day in and day out, deserve the best our justice system can provide when they face trouble back home in their community," said NADCP CEO West Huddleston. "This is a step in the right direction for veterans with post-traumatic stress, emotional and mental health issues. These individuals require help, not punishment."

According to a study published in the July 2007 issue of the Journal of Epidemiology
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SOURCE National Association of Drug Court Professionals
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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