Veterans' Court

Established in 2010, the mission of Chester County's Veterans Court is to provide treatment, compassion, hope and legal assistance to combat veterans struggling in the criminal justice system by utilizing a problem solving approach for processing those cases. This approach includes collaborative treatment strategies for combat veterans who suffer from the following conditions as a result of having served in a combat theater.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
  • Psychological and/or substance abuse problems  
By identifying and healing the unseen wounds of war that impact soldiers and their families long after they leave the combat field, our goal is to restore veterans to their military values and increase community safety.

Veterans Court will consider the facts and circumstances leading up to the criminal offense, also consider the additional stresses faced by members of the US.Armed Forces. The focus is on solving the problems that contributed to criminal behavior, preventing future anti-social behavior, and re-establishing veterans as productive members of their communities.   

Our mission is accomplished through a team approach. The criminal justice system and Veterans Affairs Administration work together with the twofold objective of the veteran’s recovery from a mental health, substance abuse or behavioral problem and protecting the safety of the public. 

The team accomplishes this by
  • receiving specialized training
  • working collaboratively with local agencies as well as the community
  • using evidence-based risk and needs assessment instruments to promote individualized supervision. 
Offenders are held accountable through rigorous monitoring and judicial supervision and data is actively collected to evaluate the effectiveness of court operations and to encourage and implement continuous program improvement.

The veteran voluntarily participates in an 6-24 month judicially supervised treatment plan developed by a team of court staff, attorneys, veteran health care professionals, veteran peer mentors,  drug and alcohol health professionals and mental health professionals. During regular status hearings, treatment plans and other conditions are periodically reviewed for appropriateness and effectiveness. Incentives are offered to reward adherence to court conditions. Sanctions for non-adherence are imposed. Completion of the program is defined according to specific criteria agreed upon by team members. 


Eligibility Criteria


Cases considered for admission to Veterans Court will include both misdemeanor and felony cases, where the Veterans Court team believes admission will protect the public and assist the veteran. Violations of probation and parole will also be considered.

General requirements include
  • Service in the US. Armed Forces in a combat theater (provide copy of DD214)
  • Misdemeanor and/or felony offense charges in Chester County
  • Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), psychological and/or substance abuse problems 
  • Honorable or other than honorable discharge
  • Victim consent to case proceeding
  • A nexus between the criminal conduct, military service and diagnosis