Veterans Treatment Court


The 14th Judicial Veterans Treatment Court is a joint endeavor between the judges of the 14th Judicial Court and Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier. The Honorable David A. Ritchie and the Honorable Sharon Wilson are the presiding judges over Veterans Treatment Court. The 14th Judicial District Veterans Treatment Court was founded by these two judge and Mr. DeRosier in January of 2016.

 

The purpose of the special court is to help veterans, in the criminal justice system, obtain the needed resources to once again lead productive lives. The court will offer rehabilitation, employment, housing, food and other needs, while helping them to resolve their criminal charges. Each veteran will also be placed with a "battle buddy" throughout the program. This buddy is also a veteran from the community that will act as an accountability partner for each individual.

 

The Veterans Treatment Court also includes The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, The Public Defender's Office, Veteran mentors, the Veterans Service Office and the Veteran Justice Outreach. The team went though on-site training in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa has one of the largest and oldest Veterans Courts in the country.

 

There are stipulations on what kind of offenders are eligible for Veterans Treatment Court. Cases involved sexual crimes and/or homicide are not candidates for the program.

 

By legislation, these are the specific goals of the Veterans Treatment Court:

  1. to reduce drug abuse and alcoholism and dependency among offenders
  2. to reduce the alcohol and drug-related workload of the courts
  3. to reduce criminal recidivism
  4. to diagnose undiagnosed mental health problems and to assist in the care and treatment of diagnosed mental health illnesses
  5. to increase the personal, familial, and societal accountability of offenders
  6. to reduce prison overcrowding
  7. to provide employment and job training for veterans in partnership with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, any technical college or vocational school, or other institute of higher learning
  8. to provide housing assistance for homeless veterans in partnership with state, local and federal housing authorities and nonprofit organizations
  9. to provide benefits counseling from parish service officers in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs