Date

12-2020

Document Type

Capstone Project (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Department

Health and Human Services

Major

Collaborative Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Shari Stevenson

Second Advisor

Caitlin Stinneford

Abstract

Located in Hollister, California, the San Benito County Military and Veterans Affairs Office serves a caseload of up to 1,200 veterans in pursuit of social and economic justice. It advocates for veterans who have served in the armed forces and sustained disabilities as a result of their military service. While this purpose is both efficient and admirable in nature, there are still unmet needs in the veteran community. The decline of mental health within the veteran community and its relationship to criminality is a problem requiring further effort to properly address. Part of addressing it is understanding the contributing factors, several of which are related to substance abuse and lack of rehabilitative opportunity. This project took a close look at the Veterans Treatment Court and its association with rehabilitation, increased mental health treatment, and decreased rates of recidivism. The results are shown to be positive, indicating a potential solution to a large part of this problem. It is recommended that a continued discussion take place, with efforts to increase awareness and influence policy change. Where possible, Veterans Treatment Courts should exist. In areas where proper funding does not exist, it is recommended that efforts be made to allow veterans to attend Veterans Treatment Courts in neighboring counties.

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