(Las Vegas CBS KXNT)   Veterans who’ve gotten into a brush with the law because of substance abuse can be referred to a specialty treatment court designed for them. Veterans’ Court Judge Linda Bell oversees the program, which currently has 25 participants.

The court first convened in September with a team of local treatment providers and staff from the veterans Administration to prescribe and supervise a corrective course tailored to individual need.

Bell told KXNT the veterans report to court every two weeks.  The court’s team monitors a range of problems, including post traumatic stress syndrome and other mental health disorders.

Some need employment counseling or help with housing.

It’s clear that the veterans do better when they go through the program together, Bell said.

“They’re able to provide better peer support to one another,” she said.  “There’s more of a sense of community and pride among the vets when they’re treated together, so there’s much better success when we have a treatment court dedicated to the particular needs they have.”

In that vein, the court is planning a mentor program, and seeking volunteer military personnel  to provide support.

When participants have stayed clean for six months and have stable housing and employment, they may be eligible to graduate from the program.  Bell says it might take an average of three months.


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