COLUMBIA, Mo. – Veterans United Foundation is proud to support the 13th Judicial Circuit of Missouri in establishing a Veterans Treatment Court to help mid-Missouri veterans in the criminal justice system who are battling substance abuse or mental health issues.
The Foundation pledged $210,000 to support the Veterans Treatment Court through its first three years. The comprehensive, court-supervised treatment program is an alternative to imprisonment for veteran offenders who suffer from mental illness or have a drug or alcohol addiction.
“Service members, particularly those who have been touched by combat-related trauma, don’t always fit in with other alternative sentencing programs,” said Megan Sievers, director for Veterans United Foundation. “In order for their treatment to be successful, they need to have help that understands the dynamics of military life. We are humbled to be able to support a program that aims to help those who have sacrificed so much for us.”
This marks the fourth Treatment Court established in Missouri. The donation from Veterans United Foundation will provide the program with an administrator, a mentor coordinator and funds needed for drug testing, tracking and other supportive services.
“Our veterans deserve no less than the best program we can construct and fund,” said Division II Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler.
The first Veterans Treatment Court was established in 2008 in Buffalo, N.Y., in response to the National Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment Study, which indicated that half of male combat veterans who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder had been arrested at least once.
Veterans United Foundation is committed to enhancing the lives of veterans and military families nationwide. It is the philanthropic arm of Veterans United Home Loans that is supported entirely by its employees.