An Analysis of Sanctions and Respective Psychiatric Diagnoses in Veterans' Court

J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2015 Jun;43(2):171-6.


This descriptive analysis is an examination of the extent to which a veteran's mental health diagnosis or the initial criminal charge committed before program enrollment relate to a greater propensity for sanctions, harsher sanctions, higher rates of relapse on substances, or overall program compliance. This is a retrospective descriptive analysis that focuses on those participants in the Harris County (Texas) Veterans' Court Program from June 2010 through April 2012 for whom the court had issued sanctions. The most clinically relevant association (p = .014) was found between veterans with substance use relapse and subsequent discharge from the program. Furthermore, the following four infractions were associated with a subsequent jail sanction: unexcused absence (p = .014), failure to complete a task (p = .010), substance use relapse (p = .001), and missing a hearing (p = .012). Given these findings, veterans with relapses in substance use during the course of the program are at greatest risk of noncompletion of the program and may represent a subpopulation of veterans who require greater or different types of assistance.

MeSH terms

  • Criminal Law / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Prisoners / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Veterans / psychology*