Northampton County Establishes Treatment Court Program for Veterans
August 02, 2023
On behalf of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Hon. Jennifer R. Sletvold, Administrative Judge of Problem-Solving Courts, has announced the establishment of Northampton County Veterans' Court.
“Treatment courts are the most innovative solution for veterans caught up in the criminal justice system due to substance use, mental health issues and/or trauma. The Northampton County Veterans' Court will connect veterans to the benefits and treatment that they have earned and deserve,” Judge Sletvold said.
“The Court is creating an interdisciplinary team which will work together to afford each veteran the opportunity to achieve recovery and get their lives back on track, while maintaining accountability for their actions and decisions.”
The Veterans’ Court joins Northampton County’s Recovery Court and Mental Health Court, which were established on April 2, 2015 by President Judge Craig Dally. To date, there have been 87 successful Recovery Court graduates, and 100 successful Mental Health Court graduates, and while veterans have been among the graduates of these courts, the Northampton County Problem-Solving Courts are proud to now be offering veterans a court designed to meet their particular needs.
The Court plans to partner with the Veterans' Administration and other community partners for the care and support of veterans admitted to the program. This will be a comprehensive effort targeting non-violent offenders to combat substance use, mental health conditions and the criminal activity that brought them into contact with the justice system.
Through a unique partnership of the criminal justice community, social service organizations and agencies, local government and individuals, the Court will provide a judicially supervised treatment program designed specifically to identify, treat and benefit the men and women who have served our country and who have entered the criminal justice system. Northampton County Veterans' Court is designed to address both diversionary and post-plea cases.
The Court intends to begin accepting applications for admission to the program in the fall.
Northampton County joins 25 other Pennsylvania counties with Veterans Treatment Court programs that assist justice-involved veterans suffering from mental health issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder and other co-occurring disorders as a result of their service to this country.
The purpose of these programs is to reduce recidivism and help veterans return to their jobs and families and become productive citizens. Participants are intensely supervised throughout the course of the program, while receiving guidance and support from veteran mentors, as well as any necessary treatment from the VA or local treatment providers.
Media contact: Casey Scheffler, 610-425-1712