Veteran Treatment Court Programs in Texas: An Exploratory Research Project
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Purpose: The purpose of this applied research project is to explore the operational aspects of certain Veteran Treatment Court (VTC) programs in Texas. A review of the scholarly literature on jail diversion programs is undertaken and three core concepts are identified. After conducting interviews with VTC program administrators, a preliminary assessment of the methods used by programs to address each concept is possible.
Method: A semi-structured interview was developed to assist with gathering qualitative data. The three core concepts identified in the scholarly literature served as a framework that was used to build the interview script. The sample of this study is comprised of three VTC programs in Central Texas and administrators from each program was interviewed in person.
Findings: Preliminary findings suggest respondents are utilizing similar methods to address each concept in most cases. Specifically, programs are consistent in how they identify and screen veterans and how they maintained a continuity of care; but programs are inconsistent in how they measured for long-term effectiveness. The project identified the following recommendations:
- Programs should ensure that all intake booking facilities within their jurisdiction, both county and municipal, capture veteran status through intake questionnaires.
- Programs should consider incorporating research-based instruments into the assessment process to provide an objective measurement of motivation.
- Programs should consider retaining identifying information on all veterans admitted into programs for recidivism statistics and comparative analysis purposes.