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Referral Process for Leon County Veterans Treatment Court


Referrals to the Leon County Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) can be made in several ways.

  1. Judges, the VA, treatment providers, the State Attorney.s office, County and State supervision officers, Defense Attorneys, VTC staff, other Veteran involved agencies, individual Veterans and/or their families can make a referral by completing a VTC referral packet. A referral packet consists of the Criminal Case Management referral form, the consent for disclosure of confidential mental health/substance abuse information, and the Department of Veterans Affairs release. All referral packets shall be forwarded to the Veterans Treatment Court Coordinator via the designated email address if possible (CriminalCM@leoncountyfl.gov).
  2. The VTC Coordinator shall monitor the active jail list on a regular basis to identify incarcerated Veterans at the Leon County jail.
  3. A Veteran may self-identify when booked at the Leon County jail and the Pretrial Officer will complete the releases with the Veteran to send to the VTC Coordinator and/or a Booking Notice from the jail will be sent to pertinent VTC parties.

The referral source when possible shall:

  1. Complete the referral packet.
  2. Contact the VTC Coordinator if they need assistance in completing the referral packet.
  3. Submit the referral packet to the VTC Coordinator by email, fax, mail or personal delivery.

The VTC Coordinator shall:

  1. Set up a pending file in the database on the Veteran to include any pertinent information.
  2. Review all materials and determine if Veteran preliminarily meets the initial eligibility criteria. This includes confirming with the Veterans Justice Officer (VJO) if the Veteran is registered with the VA and if they are eligible for VA healthcare services. The VJO shall also verify dates of service, branch of service, prior VA involvement (to determine if new evaluation is needed) and discharge status once the signed VA release of information is provided.
  3. Email the assigned Defense Attorney information about the VTC and the eligibility of the Veteran and forms needed, if applicable.

The Defense Attorney shall:

  1. Meet with their client to review the VTC program requirements and if interested have the Veteran sign needed forms.
  2. If VTC is a viable option, advise their client to contact the Pretrial Intervention Officer/VTC Coordinator to participate in a Risk/Needs assessment (ORAS).

The Veterans Pre-trial Intervention Officer shall:

  1. Complete a Risk/Needs assessment on each referred Veteran and enter the results into the database. The VTC Coordinator will serve as back up for this process.

The Veterans Treatment Court Coordinator shall:

  1. If the Veteran is charged with a misdemeanor or criminal traffic offense and is willing to voluntarily enter the VTC, the VTC Coordinator will coordinate the signing of the transfer order and the adding of the case to the next VTC docket.
  2. If the case is a felony, and the State Attorney and the Defense Attorney agree on transfer, the VTC Coordinator will complete this same process. However, if the State Attorney and the Defense Attorney don.t agree on the transfer, the Defense Attorney will set the case for a Motion Hearing before the Felony Judge for a transfer determination to be made. If needed the VJO will provide a letter from the VA with pertinent information and the VTC Coordinator will attend the hearing.
  3. Once the case is transferred into VTC, the VTC Coordinator will provide the Veteran with a packet of information and forms to review with their Defense Attorney. The Defense Attorney will meet with their client (preferably prior to the first VTC appearance) to sign the VTC contract, the handbook acknowledgment form, the deferred prosecution order if applicable and to review the coordinated strategy for the Veteran. Once all forms are signed, they will be forwarded to the VTC Coordinator for e-filing.

At the initial VTC Court date:

  1. The Judge welcomes the Veteran to VTC and reviews the initial course of treatment and expectations with the Veteran.
  2. The Veteran is introduced to his/her Mentor, if one is available to be assigned.
  3. The Veteran is introduced to the rest of his/her treatment team to include the ASA, Defense Attorney, Veterans Pretrial Intervention Officer or Probation staff, VJO, and others as applicable.
  4. The Veteran signs for the next Court date.