South St. Louis County Veterans Court Receives U.S. Department of Justice Grant
Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018
The South St. Louis County Veterans Treatment Court was awarded a United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant in September 2018 that will fund much of the Court’s operations until 2022. The Grant, in the amount of $550,000 for a term of four years, will fund additional drug testing, probation services, advanced training opportunities, research in partnership with the University of Minnesota Duluth, and a half-time treatment court coordinator.
The South St. Louis County Veterans Treatment Court, a special program designed to assist veterans involved in the criminal justice system who are diagnosed with a mental health or substance use disorder, currently has a capacity of five veterans at any given time. The Grant will allow the Court to serve up to 25 veterans at any given time. The program will begin implementing the new funding in January 2019.
The Treatment Court currently partners with Arrowhead Regional Corrections, the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, the Duluth City Attorney’s Office, MN’s Sixth Judicial District Public Defender, the Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services, Duluth Bethel, University of Minnesota Duluth, and the Fond du Lac Human Services Division. The program would also not be possible without the support of the community members and leadership of Duluth and St. Louis County. Together, the partnership shows veterans and their families that they matter.
Veterans courts and other treatment court programs have shown their effectiveness at reducing recidivism and justice system costs, while improving outcomes for defendants who enter the programs. Minnesota has conducted multiple evaluations
of the effectiveness of these programs, and has consistently found that treatment courts:
- Reduce recidivism among program participants;
- Provide long-term cost savings in the criminal justice system; and
- Result in better outcomes for participants with substance use disorders, including higher rates of employment, stable housing, and educational attainment.
More information about Minnesota’s veterans courts and other treatment court programs can be found at http://mncourts.gov/Help-Topics/Treatment-Courts.aspx