Congress urged to pass Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act

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Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 attorneys general in urging Congress to further support Veteran Treatment Courts by passing the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act of 2019. Veteran Treatment Courts, similar to drug and mental health courts, are used for minor, non-violent offenses and pair veterans with mentors to address substance abuse and mental health issues. They also assist veterans with obtaining United States Veterans Administration benefits that can help them with treatment and employment. There are currently over 450 Veteran Treatment Courts in 40 states and territories. Hundreds of thousands of veterans call the Commonwealth home, especially in areas like Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.

“Virginia is home to hundreds of thousands of veterans who have dedicated their lives to protecting our Commonwealth and our country,” said Herring. “Our courts should acknowledge the unique challenges our veterans can face when they return home from service. Our veterans deserve the best care and attention in every situation and this legislation would ensure that they are given the treatment they need while helping them navigate the criminal justice system.”

Herring and his colleagues sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to pass House Resolution 886, the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act of 2019. The legislation is co-sponsored by many members of Virginia’s congressional delegation including Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Elaine Luria, Rep. Denver Riggleman, Rep. Bobby Scott, Rep. Jennifer Wexton, Rep. Robert Wittman, and Rep. Abigail Spanberger. House Resolution 886 would establish a Veteran Treatment Court Program in the United States Department of Justice to provide grants and technical assistance to state, local and tribal courts that implement Veteran Treatment Courts.

Joining Herring in sending the letter are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.