By Beth O’Brien, reporting for Bluebonnet News of Montgomery County
Montgomery County Commissioners Court authorized the application for a $200,000 grant to continue the Veterans Treatment Court, which started in 2015. The grant is through the Texas Veterans Commission.
The program is run in 359th District Court Judge Kathleen Hamilton’s court.
“The Veterans Treatment Court is for veterans who have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic disorder, and they have also committed some sort of offense in our jurisdiction, and that offense is directly connected to something they saw or heard or did when they were in the service,” Judge Hamilton said.
Hamilton said the veterans are dealing with a wide array of offenses, from substance abuse to assaults.
“The help that they receive is very intense. They have counseling, they have individual and group counseling,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said the Veterans Treatment Court is held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. It starts at 3:30 p.m., with the actual court starting at 5 p.m.
There are currently 34 veterans in the program. Hamilton said the minimum time in the program is 14 months, and 19 months is the average time to complete the program.
There are four phases of the program. Phase one and phase two are five months each while phase three is more than four months months and phase four is close to five months.
Since the program started in 2015, 33 veterans have graduated and a total of 74 have participated – a 45 percent graduation rate.
There were no graduates the first year of the program, three in 2016, 14 in 2017, six in 2018 and 10 so far this year, according to Hamilton.