DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Veteran’s Treatment Court program is a partnership between the courts and the Dayton VA Medical center. Its purpose is to help veterans involved in the court system.
Since 2013, more than 150 people have graduated from veterans court.
“When I got out [of the Army] I was completely lost,” said U.S. Army veteran Adam Spaeth. “I ended up divorced shortly after I got out. And when you get out of the military because you get hurt, your purpose goes away,” he said.
Montgomery County’s Veterans court helped him rediscover that purpose.
“When you enter the courtroom you’re not identifying as a drug addict or a burglar, you’re identifying with your fellow veterans as veterans and what they did in the army…something honorable,” he said.
The 12-18 month program helps veterans get treatment in three phases. Completing the program can mean avoiding jail time and clearing their records. Officials said by opting to do this treatment helps veterans get healthier, while also opening doors that otherwise would’ve remained closed.
“Having those felony kinds of charges on their record that may or may not be related to experiences in the service impacts their ability to find employment, impacts ability to get into schools sometimes, and impacts ability to find housing,” said Melissa Hall, veterans justice outreach coordinator.
After graduating from the program, Spaeth enrolled in Sinclair Community college. He’s now in his fourth semester as a social work major.
“It makes me feel good. It gives me something to be proud of again,” he said.