Investigating the Programmatic Attack: A National Survey of Veterans Treatment Courts

Baldwin, Julie Marie | January 1, 2015

Veterans treatment courts (VTCs), a recent emergence from the specialized court movement, target the population of veterans in contact with the criminal justice system. Due to the contemporary nature of their dissemination, published empirical research on VTCs is only beginning to materialize. Additionally, national surveys of specialized courts are rare and typically occur decades after the courts emerge. This Article presents descriptive results regarding the establishment, policy, structure, and procedures of VTCs using data from the first national survey of these courts, conducted in the early stages of their emergence. A national compendium of VTCs (N = 114) was created. Seventy-nine VTCs (69% of the population) responded to the national survey. This study found both similarity and high variability across VTCs in different areas of policy, structure, and procedure. Future national studies should be conducted to understand the evolution of these courts over time and provide an up-to-date national context relevant for subsequent single- and multi-site studies.