US Veterans' Court Programs: An Inventory and Analysis of National Survey Data

Community Ment Health J. 2016 Feb;52(2):180-6. doi: 10.1007/s10597-015-9972-3. Epub 2016 Jan 21.


This study used data from a phone survey inventory of US veterans' courts to provide descriptive information on the current status of their various elements. To identify which items were most predictive of a court's percentage of subjects terminated from their program, a linear regression was performed. The following were associated with higher rates of termination from the veterans' court (VC) program: (a) programs that offered phase progression based on measurable goals, (b) programs that conduct frequent drug and alcohol testing, and (c) programs for which sanctions are more severe for failing immediate goals (sobriety) versus long-term ones (completion of training). The following were associated with lower rates of termination from the VC program: (a) programs in which later phases permit less stringent testing, (b) programs utilizing behavioral contracts, (c) programs utilizing brief incarcerations. This inventory provides nationwide empirical data that may be used in the development of veterans' courts.

Keywords: Court; Recidivism; VA; Veteran.

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services / methods*
  • Community Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Criminals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Failure
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans* / statistics & numerical data