The mission of the Northeast Central Judicial District’s Veterans Treatment Court is to promote recovery, stability, and accountability for veterans involved in the justice system through supervision and service-oriented mentorship; therefore, improving public safety and civic contribution to the citizens and State of North Dakota.
Veterans Treatment Courts are designed to give an opportunity to improve the quality of a justice involved veteran’s life. By choosing to participate in this program, they have to show that they are ready to do the work to make positive changes toward recovery and a law-abiding life. Change is difficult, and they are sure to face many challenges within the course of the program. However, they will continue moving forward one step at a time. Veterans Treatment Courts provide support and assistance on their path. The Veterans Treatment Court emphasizes courage, commitment, integrity, devotion, and honor, and we hope they find these values meaningful as well.
Who is eligible to be a participant of Veterans Treatment Court?
Persons seeking admission in the Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) must meet the following criteria:
- Participant is either a current or former member of the Armed Forces (Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force, and Space Force) including the Army or Air Force National Guard or Reserves
- If a former service member, they must be eligible for benefits through the Veterans Affairs (VA). Assistance with determining eligibility will be provided by the VA Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist (VJO).
- If a current service member, you must be available to participate for at least 18 months and must disclose any permanent change of station, deployment, or orders.
- Being active duty does not exclude you from the participation in the VTC; however, your command staff will need to ensure that you will be “reasonably available” to participate in the program.
- Must be currently residing in the Grand Forks or Nelson County, and able to comply with the program requirements.
- Must be determined to be in need of treatment for either mental health and/or chemical dependency/substance use.
- Cannot have any other criminal charges or holds that will interfere with treatment.
- Must agree to participate in and be subject to the rules, regulations and sanctions of VTC.
- Must be amenable to treatment and motivated to participate in the program.
- Must agree to sign a limited release of information to allow communication for purposes of VTC between the VA/medical professional/treatment providers and the DOCR Probation Officer for the duration of the program.
Who is part of the VTC Team?
- State’s Attorney Office
- Defense Counsel
- Parole and Probation Officer
- VTC Mentor Coordinator
- Community Treatment and Service Providers
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs Veteran Justice Outreach Specialist
- Veterans’ Service Officer
It is a goal of this program to reduce, deter, and ultimately eliminate repeat criminal offenses. The objectives will have the following characteristics:
- Enhance Public Safety
- Reduce Recidivism
- Improve Treatment Outcomes
- Reduce costs
- Improved Criminal Justice System
- Return to Community
Learn more at ND Courts website: North Dakota Court System - Veterans Treatment Court (ndcourts.gov)
Northeast Central Judicial District
Veterans Treatment Court
Coordinator: Kim Higgs
Contact the ND Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator:
Rachel Marsolek, LICSW
Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator
Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans
Fargo VA CRRC
721 1st Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102
Office: (701) 461-7330 ext 7364
Cell: (701) 200-2723
Fax: (701) 239-2406
More on VA VJO
Important things to consider…
The ND Veterans Treatment Court is not a “Get out of Jail” free card. It is an opportunity for our veterans to get the much-needed treatments they deserve and a chance from them to get past their issues and return to their community as a productive member of our society.
ND parents raise good children who attend our fine education systems, community programs, churches and organizations. They have good morals and values instilled upon them by their family, friends and community. North Dakota is a very patriotic state which has a large number of citizens who serve in our military. Service in our military is a great and honorable thing to do but it unfortunately has the potential to cause our children mental and behavioral health problems when they return home. These problems sometimes take time to develop and on occasion cause our veterans to become justice involved. It is important that we remember that if our government “broke” our children, we need to expect our government to provide the opportunity to “Fix” them before they enter the revolving door of our prison system. Lonnie Wangen-ND Commissioner of Veterans Affairs.