Recognizing the unique challenges faced by the men and women who complete their service with emotional trauma, physical injuries or difficulties adjusting to civilian life, Judge Melissa Blackburn established an independent Veterans Treatment Court for Nashville in 2014.
Following nationally established models, Veterans Treatment Court requires regular court appearances as well as mandatory attendance at treatment sessions and frequent and random testing for substance use (drug and/or alcohol). Applying a structured program is particularly effective for Veterans given their past experiences in the Armed Forces. Without this structure, these veterans will re-offend and remain in the criminal justice system. The Veterans Treatment Court can ensure they meet their obligations to themselves, the court, and their community.
Since the founding of the Veterans Court, the program has posted a success rate among graduates of more than 85%. Success in the court can result in the expungement of charges and waiving of fines, allowing Veterans the opportunity to start over with a clean slate and renewed purpose.
The Soldier’s creed is, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” The Veterans Court works each day to honor that commitment to the men and women who have served to keep us free.