LEE COUNTY - On June 1, the Lee County Veterans Treatment Court held its fifth graduation to recognize four graduates from the program. Master of Ceremonies for the graduation was Lee County Associate Judge Theresa Friel-Draper. The ceremony was highlighted with remarks from the graduates, a presentation from Quilts of Valor for each veteran and a presentation of ribbons from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The Lee County Veterans Treatment Court began in November 2016. The ceremony marks the completion of an intensive program focused on increasing positive outcomes for justice involved veterans. The specialized problem solving court focuses on substance abuse and mental health treatment for veterans of the United States Armed Forces.
Veterans' Treatment Courts have gained national prominence as the most innovative solution for veterans caught up in the criminal justice system due to substance use and/or mental health disorders and trauma. A growing number of veterans suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. These issues can be exacerbated by the loss of structure and camaraderie found in the military. Research continues to link substance use disorders with service-related mental health conditions. These conditions can increase involvement with the justice system.
Veterans' Treatment Courts offer a solution.
Research continues to show that Veterans Treatment Courts work better than jail or prison and better than treatment alone. Veterans Treatment Courts connect these men and women to the benefits and treatment they deserve, saving their lives, families, and futures, while saving tax dollars for the American public.
As stated by Judge Friel-Draper, “Veterans are a symbol of what makes our nation great and we must never forget all they have done to ensure our freedoms.”