What is a Veterans Treatment Court

Most veterans are strengthened by their military service, but the combat experience has unfortunately left a growing number of veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.  One in five veterans has symptoms of a mental health disorder or cognitive impairment.  One in six veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom suffer from a substance abuse issue.  Research continues to draw a link between substance abuse and combat–related mental illness.  Left untreated, mental health disorders common among veterans can directly lead to involvement in the criminal justice system.

A Wounded Warrior in the Orange County Combat Veterans Treatment Court
A Wounded Warrior in the Orange County Combat Veterans Treatment Court

The Veterans Treatment Court model requires regular court appearances (a bi-weekly minimum in the early phases of the program), as well as mandatory attendance at treatment sessions and frequent and random testing for substance use (drug and/or alcohol).  Veterans respond favorably to this structured environment given their past experiences in the Armed Forces.  However, a few will struggle and it is exactly those veterans who need a Veterans Treatment Court program the most.  Without this structure, these veterans will reoffend and remain in the criminal justice system.  The Veterans Treatment Court is able to ensure they meet their obligations to themselves, the court, and their community.

Interested in Becoming Veteran Treatment Court Mentors?

Come be part of an emerging judicial court program designed to address the needs of Veterans. The backbone of this specially Veterans Treatment Court 2013 Conference12252013_0000 (300x216)designed court is made up of volunteer mentors who are engaged and committed to assisting fellow Veterans in need. We are seeking mentors to be trained to help Tennessee’s justice-involved Veterans who find themselves in criminal courts.

Individuals interested in visiting a Mentor Veterans Treatment Court can apply by calling our KCVTC office at 865-329-0363 which is located at 900 East Hill Avenue, Suite 310, Knoxville, TN Knoxville, TN ‎37915.

Click here to view the Knox County Veterans Treatment Court Mentor Handbook before you apply to make sure you can meet the Mentor requirements.  If you can meet the requirements and are still interested please complete the KCVTC Mentor Application and submit it to the KCVTC office or email the application  to Ed Junod at ejunod@tnvhc.org. Currently we have 13 new Veteran Mentor in training which currently brings our Veteran Mentor count to 16.  Most are from Knox County but several are from Anderson, Blount, Monroe and Sevier counties which will provide mentors in future counties.

On June 23 & 24, 2014, the Administrative Office of the Courts will be offering training for mentors in Nashville, Tennessee. Hotel room, per Diem, and mileage will be paid for in return for your participation.  Please fill out the Veterans Mentor Boot Camp application if you want to join the National Mentor Corps.  Mail the application to our KCVTC office or email it to Ed Junod at ejunod@tnvhc.org.

Justice For Vets LogoIn conjunction with the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Justice For Vets is proud to announce that Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court (NY), Tulsa Veterans Treatment Court (OK), Rochester Veterans Treatment Court (NY), and Orange County Veterans Treatment Court (CA) have been named official Justice For Vets.  One of these Court will be the trainers at our Nashville Boot Camp.

These four outstanding programs will help develop, identify and test national best practices and provide technical assistance to communities interested in starting a Veterans Treatment Court.The Mentor Boot Camp is paid for and sponsored by the TN Administration Office of the Courts.

Veteran Friendly Congregation Initiative Launch Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:  Chaplain Dennis Lovin, Fred Owens                             CONTACT PHONE:  865-336-2624

Knoxville, Tennessee – On May 1st, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett helped to launch a new Veteran’s program called Veterans Friendly Congregation Initiative.  In his remarks at the Knox County Community Action Committee Center, Mayor Burchett stated his support for VFCI during the When War Comes Home Forum, “My father fought with the United States Marine Corps and my uncle died fighting in World War II, so helping those who have fought for their country is an extremely important mission for me.”

More than 100 members from 60 different churches and area veteran friendly organizations attended the moving ceremony.

Remembering our fallen heroes and George Thomas our spiritual leader
Remembering our fallen heroes and George  Thomas our spiritual leader

Twenty-two veterans representing all branches of  military service participated in the opening candle light ceremony, each carrying a lighted candle to symbolize the fact that 22 returning veterans die of suicide every day due to military related causes.

Dr. Ed King, featured keynote speaker for the event, is the founder and senior pastor of Redemption Church, a thriving community service congregation located in Knoxville.  Dr. King addressed the specific needs of returning veterans along with the special concerns of their families and urged the clergy in attendance to ramp up their support by partnering with VFCI.

“It was wonderful to have Chaplains from Army and Air Force Guard units give us their perspective and ask our community to assist in helping families with soldiers and airmen who are now in harm’s way for all of us” stated Chaplain Dennis Lovin, VFCI Co-Chairman. Chaplain Lovin and VFCI Chairman Fred Owens are coordinating efforts with business, civic and congregational leaders to put in place a structured program to identify and assist veterans and their families.  In cooperation with CareForTheTroops (careforthetroops.org) , VFCI members expect to impact more than 50,000 returning veterans and their families in the coming year.

We received a tremendous amount of feedback from the Forum attendees. After reviewing the VFCI Forum Feedback Report 6-1-14, please let us know how we can better serve your church or organization.

We have enclosed a VFC registration form for those of you that didn’t complete the one at the forum or if you have read our material and are ready to join. If you have a questions regarding it’s completion please use the contact either Freddie Owens or Dennis Lovin.

The main goal of VFCI is to partner with veteran friendly congregations to identify attending veterans and put in place support programs which address their unique and special needs as military veterans. For more information about the Veteran Friendly Congregation, please visit www.tnvhc.org  or call 865-336-2624.

 

Resources for VFCI

We are honored that you have registered as a Veteran Friendly Congregation (VFC).  If you need some support in starting your Military Ministry or want learn more or need someone to meet with you Clergy leadership please contact Freddie Owens or Dennis Lovin at 865-253-2794.

Click here to read our Veteran Friendly Congregation Guidelines.  If your ready to register please complete the VFC registration form and send it to VFCI,

Pastor Dr. Ed King Redemption Church Knoxville TN
Pastor Dr. Ed King
Redemption Church
Knoxville TN

Purpose:

  • Help the congregation members maintain an awareness of the existence and needs of those sacrificing their time and effort to support our country.
  • Create an environment of acceptance within the congregation for any extended family member who worships or visit the congregation; acceptance of their needs (physical, material, and spiritual), and a willingness to join their struggles, whatever they might be.

The title of the Forum was named after a Christ Center Solution book, When War Comes Home” written by Chris and Rahnella Adsit.  Our religious recovery LPG uses this book as their recovery manual each Monday from 10am till Noon at the Elmcroft of West Knoxville facility.

We received this letter from the authors on April 19, 2014 recognizing and supporting our mission. We are truly humbled by the kind words and thank them for Healing manuals: The Combat Trauma Healing Manual and When War Comes Home.

Pastor Aaron McCarter Maryville Vineyard Church
Pastor Aaron McCarter
Maryville Vineyard Church

On May 14, 2014 we a received a comment on our website from our first Veteran Friendly Congregation, the Maryville Vineyard in Blount County.  Pastor Aaron McCarter has posted “Connecting Veterans” on their website.  Pastor Aaron was recognized at our May 1st Forum for being the first congregation to register as a VFC.  We are blessed to have the Maryville Vineyard as a proud member of our initiative.