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Erie County, PA
Program Year: 2018

Erie County Veterans Treatment Court(VTC) created in 2013 is a dedicated collaborative effort between the Veteran’s Affairs, District Attorney, Public Defender, Adult Probation, Volunteer Veteran Mentors and the Erie VA Medical Center’s Veteran’s Justice Outreach Coordinator. The Court’s mission is to provide a therapeutic justice program designed to assist Veterans in navigating the criminal justice system, who have suffered Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma(MST), substance abuse and/or other psychological conditions that resulted from the Veteran’s military service. By employing an interagency approach, Veterans receive therapy, support (weekly mentor visits) and supervision to aide in their recovery. Most of the Veterans in VTC are prohibited from driving, but require transportation to attend counseling appointments and court appearances. A Veteran’s grant funds bus passes, coffee and gas cards needed to support both the veteran and mentor. Research has shown that tangible items provide positive reinforcement and encourage abstinence. Acknowledgement (small coffee or restaurant gift cards) is awarded to Veterans as they progress through the 3 phases of Treatment Court leading to graduation. To date, Erie Veterans’ Treatment Court has 6 graduates. None of these Veterans have returned to the lifestyle that landed them in Veteran’s Treatment Court.

Mr. Thaddeus Fred Plasczynski
Director, Veterans Affairs