Big Island Veterans Treatment Court Celebrates Third Graduate

Posted on Mar 8, 2017 in Featured News

Third Circuit Chief Judge and Kona Big Island Veterans Treatment Court Presiding Judge Ronald Ibarra (left) joins a Veterans Treatment Court mentor and veteran supporters to congratulate the program’s third graduate (middle).

The Hawaii Veterans Treatment Court of the Third Circuit (Big Island) celebrated its third graduate on Monday, March 06, 2017.  Supporters gathered in the Keakealani Building courtroom to congratulate the U.S. veteran on completing the intensive program.  

Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrably higher rates of co-occurring PTSD, traumatic brain injury, pain, and SUDs, than the general population.  Often, these issues are compounded by family strife, unemployment, and homelessness, ultimately leading to incarceration.

The Veterans Treatment Court takes a holistic approach to help restore veterans’ health, families and futures, while also saving taxpayer dollars.

Each veteran undergoes extensive treatment and counseling, which includes frequent urinalysis, meetings with probation officers, and court appearances.  Many services rendered to these veterans are provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at no cost to the state of Hawaii.   

A 2016 study published by the Community Mental Health Journal found that veterans who participate in veterans treatment courts experience significant improvement in housing, relationships and social connection, overall functioning and well-being, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, and mental and emotional health.

For more information on the Big Island Veterans Treatment Court program call (808) 443-2201.