Serving our country to serving time: The rise and value of Veteran treatment courts

Since 2001, more than 1.8 million troops have been deployed to support military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other areas experiencing conflict.


By Michael Pittaro and John Russ

“Leave No One Behind…Regardless of the Battlefield” – California Veterans Legal Task Force

Since 2001, more than 1.8 million troops have been deployed to support military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other areas experiencing conflict. Our country’s military members have had to endure more than a decade of constant sacrifices—physically, psychologically, emotionally—for which they have served valiantly. As a result, veterans who have witnessed or experienced traumatic incidents are often victims of injuries that are not visible to the naked eye. Such injuries can hamper adjustment to civilian life the same as visible wounds.

The Connection Between PTSD and Criminal Behavior
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like combat, assault, or disaster. According to a U.S. Department of Defense article, nearly half of all veterans report having frequent outbursts of anger and other symptoms of PTSD. In the same article, an additional 220,000 service members were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Research supports a strong correlation between criminal behavior or risk-taking behavior and those who suffer from TBI and/or PTSD. These disorders can adversely influence a veteran’s ability to control behavior and can lead to impulsivity, disinhibition, anger, and aggression.

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