The Influence of Veteran Identity on Progress in the Veteran Treatment Court of Kalamazoo, Michigan : A Proposed Evaluation
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Veteran Treatment Courts (VTCs) are special court programs that divert veteran offenders and provide resources to aid their recovery. These programs are relatively new, and are based on the success of drug courts and Mental Health Courts, both of which have been shown to reduce recidivism and have a positive impact on mental health. Many veterans return home with trauma, experience social isolation, and are at least as likely as civilians to come in contact with the law. It is therefore important to evaluate VTCs on how well they serve the problems that plague their target population. A promising feature of VTCs is their use of veteran staff and emulation of veteran culture. This is important because research has shown that the transition to civilian life is alienating for veterans, who often experience a lack of structure and purpose, and may consequently distance themselves from social support. Because the peer social support that VTC programs offer is important to recovery, this paper proposes a study that investigates the relationship between veteran identity and recovery. Recovery is operationalized as reduced criminal behavior as well as progress in psychological wellbeing.
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