Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment offered by Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village), which would increase funding for Veterans Treatment Courts by $1 million.

“The Ventura County collaborative court connects veterans to needed treatment and services, which may include mental health care, drug and alcohol treatment, vocational rehabilitation, or other life skills services and programs,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “They do an amazing job with a team of professionals, really, truly saving one life at a time and providing a last chance for our veterans.”

In January, Congresswoman Brownley visited the Veterans Treatment Court in Ventura County, a very successful and effective program. During that visit, they discussed the laudable goals of the court to prevent veterans from falling into a life of crime, rather than arresting and jailing veterans for a few days or weeks.

First founded in Buffalo, New York in 2008, Veterans Treatment Courts are designed to address fundamental problems with troubled veterans who have succumbed to substance abuse and have gotten in trouble with the law. These courts are designed to provide mental health counseling that focuses on rehabilitation and sobriety, and works with veterans to address the reasons for their criminal behavior.  As of June 2012, there are 104 Veterans Treatment Courts throughout the United States.

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