Veteran Family Treatment Court
What is the Hidalgo County Veterans
Family Treatment Court Program
The Hidalgo County Veterans Treatment Court Program is available to family
members (on probation) of Veterans to address their criminogenic needs to divert them from prison.
The program is a hybrid of a Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Sanctions
The program serves the family member of the Veteran by providing a
continuum of treatment services, which is conducive to a productive substance abuse free life and a safer community.
The Hidalgo County Veterans Treatment Court Program requires the family
member of the Veteran to undergo constant monitoring and treatment as well as frequent status hearings in front of the Hidalgo County Veterans Treatment Court Program Judge to monitor their progress.
The Hidalgo County Veterans Treatment Court Program
was established in 2011
Noticed that Family of the Justice-involved Vet were
affected by the criminal behavior of the Vet
Looked at data that suggested that family members of
Veterans may suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and criminogenic needs
Texas Veterans Commission
Solicitation from the Fund for Veterans Assistance (FVA) TVC awarded Hidalgo County CSCD to commence
operation from January 2013 – December 2013
Moderate to high risk offender (e.g., risk to reoffend/engage
in criminal behavior)
Under Supervision in Hidalgo County, with either a
substance abuse issue, or a mental health issue, to include stress, anxiety, depression, or PTSD, as well as have multiple criminogenic needs.
Offenders who are non compliant with their current
conditions of probation are also eligible, as the program can also be used as a sanction.
Post adjudication program
Not less than 6 months no more than 1 year; can be
extended on a case by case basis
4 phases; Treatment Driven; Compliance-Oriented to
address criminogenic needs
No cost to the participant, however participants are
expected to continue to pay their financial obligations from their original court orders.
No Motion to Adjudicate/Revoke initiated
Successful completion of all phases of the program (in accordance with
their individualized treatment plan);
Negative urine tests consistently (with no lapses) during the last phase of
No new criminal convictions
The participant does not complete the program within 12 months; The participant is arrested for a new offense;
The participant engages in severe noncompliance with treatment; The participant continues to engage in regular alcohol/drug use; The participant absconds from the program.
From January 2013 – April 2014: Served 27 offenders
1st placement March 2013 3 graduates
DUTIES OF JUDGE
PRESIDE OVER HCVTC CASES
HANDLE MISDEMEANOR AND FELONY CASES FOR
COORDINATE AND MANAGE DISCUSSION OF ALL
ACKNOWLEDGE PARTICIPANTS WITH REWARDS OR
IMPOSE SANCTIONS FOR NON-COMPLIANCE COORDINATE GRADUATION CEREMONIES
The Role and Duties of the Probation OfficerThe Probation Officer screens participants for characteristics that are directly linked to criminal behavior:
Low Self Control Depression
Anti Social Values/Personality Criminal Peers
Veterans Court Treatment Phases
The participant will be engaged in
the mental health treatment or substance treatment depending on the client needs.
Appear in court on a weekly basis. Maintain weekly contacts with the
Maintain weekly contacts with
Weekly urinalysis during the
The participant will be attending to anger management treatment and special
treatment depending on the client needs. Appear in court on a weekly basis.
Maintain weekly contacts with the probation officer.
Maintain weekly contacts with the treatment provider.
Weekly urinalysis during the program. Enrollment and completion of the classes ordered by the judgment.
Veterans Court Treatment Phases
The participant will be active in 12
step program substance abuse and special treatment depending on the client needs.
Appear in court bi-weekly basis. Maintain bi-weekly contacts with
the probation officer.
Maintain bi-weekly contacts with
the treatment provider.
Bi-weekly or Random urinalysis
during the program.
Work and complete community
The participant will continue with treatment depending on the client needs.
Appear in court once a month.
Maintain once a month contacts with the probation officer.
Maintain once a month contacts with the treatment provider.
Random urinalysis during the program.
Graduation and reintegration into the community.
Report as schedule with Probation Officer
Appear in Court as scheduled
Follow Treatment Plan and report as schedule.
Substance Abuse Treatment
Mental Health Treatment
*Each participant will have an individualized treatment plan.
Office Visit with Probation Officer
Report any changes in address, phone # and
Build trust and good communication using
Motivation Interviewing and Evidence Based Practices.
Set up short terms goals and long term goals Work and share responses utilizing Cognitive
Positive Drug Urinalysis
Failure to report to Treatment, Probation & Court Hearings
Fail to comply with initial conditions of probation
Defendants refuse to obtain employment when applicable
Alternate Incarceration Program (House Arrest) Electronic monitoring
Addition of Community Service Hours
part of life.
If you don’t
fail, you don’t
If you don’t
Acknowledge and Rewards
Certificate of Accomplishments Phase Promotion
Immediate Release from Status Hearing Early Termination
Road to Success
WALL OF FAME ACHIEVEMENT
Initial Treatment Service: Psychosocial Evaluation Assessments PCL-S PHQ-9, CAGE-AID AUDIT-C
ADDICTION SEVERITY INDEX
Person Center Plan
After Client’s Need is determined the following services can be provided:
Seeking Safety Treatment- Individual /Group Setting
Co-occurring Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders(COPS-D) Family Support Services- Group Setting
Cognitive Processing Therapy- Individual Case Management
SEEKING SAFETY TREATMENT
Seeking Safety is:
An evidence-based practice
Designed to address substance abuse AND symptoms of PTSD A flexible intervention
Intended to address the first stage of healing: Safety
Seeking Safety Treatment Groups
10 topics are covered Groups are “closed”
Seeking Safety Treatment- Individual Basis
10 topics are covered
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT )has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD
An Evidence-Based Practice 12-session Treatment
Has a Writing Component Homework is assigned
Individual Counseling Sessions of CPT
FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
Family Support Services is designed to meet the needs of Families of Service Members or Veterans who have
become involved with the Criminal Justice System. Topics that are covered in Group:
Promote Personal and Family Wellbeing Setting Short Term/Long Term Goals
Case Management is EXTREMELY important
Basic Needs (e.g. shelter, employment, food, etc.)
Community referrals (e.g. SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.) Workshops (e.g. job skills training, resume builder, etc.)
Update of Assessments
Revision/Modification of Person Center Plan Follow-up
The Mentor is able to establish an ongoing personal developmental
relationship with the Mentee. The mentorship is ongoing by means of learning, dialogue and challenges.
By: Stephen Harris Mentor Coordinator
METHODSLearning • Personal Growth • Problem Solving • Confidence Building Dialogue • Peer to Peer • Seeking Safety • Counseling Challenges • Transitioning • Enhance the quality of life • Program Completion
Take the initiative to provide support when stressors increase Use your own experiences as examples Make a commitment in a caring way
Mentorship provides the family members who are on probation
currently experiencing substance abuse, mental health, or behavioral problems a chance to learn, share, inspire, and support themselves and others in a positive mind set.
A mentor is not designated to replace or provide professional mental health treatment or counseling.