DIXON — The Lee County Veteran’s Treatment Court celebrated its first graduation on Oct. 23.
Lee County started a Veterans Treatment Court in November 2016. The program was awarded a 3-year funding grant from the Bureau of Justice Administration, a part of the United States Department of Justice in late October 2017. The program began as an effort by the courts to offer intensive rehabilitation services to justice system involved veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have been identified by mental healthy and/or drug treatment professionals as having significant problems with mental health and/or drugs and/or alcohol.
The Mission of the Lee County Veterans Treatment Court is to increase outcomes for justice involved Veterans by assessing and directing individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse problems into the judicial supervision of treatment with a goal of developing stable, substance free, productive citizens and thereby breaking the cycle of criminal recidivism.
There are currently five veterans active in the program, with another three awaiting entry.
The first graduate of the program, Jeff Woods, has met and exceeded the requirements. He has been clean and sober for more than a year, he has secure employment, a fiancé and a new daughter.
Because of his compliance with the program, the charges pending on him were dismissed.
In addition to recognition from the court system, the Illinois Valley Quilt of Valor representatives were on hand to present him with a quilt and honor him for his service.