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Van Wert Municipal Court

Courts Assisting Military Offenders - CAMO Court

The first Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) was started in Buffalo, New York in 2008, after Judge Robert Russell noticed an increase in the number of veterans appearing on his dockets. He created the structure of VTCs, including the mentoring component of Veterans helping Veterans. In 2009, the V.A. implemented the VJO (Veterans Justice Outreach) Program that paired V.A. social workers to courts to assist justice-involved veterans. In 2019, the Van Wert County municipal court learned of VTC’s and started collecting data that showed the number of Veterans in the court justified the implementation of a VTC and started planning. The Honorable Judge Jill T. Worthington volunteered to preside over the program and named it “Van Wert Veterans Court” to reduce the stigma of those entering a “treatment court. In 2020, the Veterans Court Team expanded to include service providers from the community. In 2021, Veterans Court became certified by the Ohio Supreme Court as a specialized docket and started unofficially mentoring new VTCs in implementation of policy, procedure, and building a strong mentor program
As of 2020, there are over 460 VTCs in our country with hundreds more in the planning stages—25 in Ohio. Veterans Court enjoys a 67% success rate, 5% felony recidivism rate.
Racial and Ethical Disparity
Specialized Treatment Courts have been credited with helping to alleviate unfair disparities in the incarceration of racial and ethnic minority citizens for drug-related offenses. These specialized dockets around the country perform their duties without manifestation, by word or conduct, of bias or prejudice based upon race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, language or socioeconomic status.
Treatment Courts are, first and foremost, courts, charged with safeguarding and advancing the constitutional rights of all citizens to due process and equal protection under the law and have an affirmative obligation to take reasonable actions to prevent or correct any racial or ethnic disparities that may be found to exist by:
  1. Adopting evidence-based assessment tools, treatments and other interventions that have been proven through scientific research to produce equivalent or superior effects for racial and ethnic minority individuals; and
  2. Ensuring that all personnel involved in the Treatment Court have received up-to-date training on how to identify and administer evidence-based, culturally sensitive and culturally competent interventions and assessment tools.
Individuals who have historically experienced sustained discrimination or reduced social opportunities because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, physical or mental disability, religion, or socioeconomic status receive the same opportunities as other individuals to participate and succeed in Veterans Court.
Mission Statement
The Van Wert Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) is committed to addressing the unique mental health, physical and substance abuse related needs of our veterans by providing a judge supervised intensive treatment program that creates access to an array of services within the community with the intent of promoting self-sufficiency, reducing recidivism, promoting public safety, and providing an alternative to incarceration.