Journal of Law and Policy


American veterans are often plagued by psychological and physical injuries, among other hardships, which, when unaddressed, can lead to substance abuse, criminal behavior, and suicide. As public awareness of the difficulties that American veterans face was growing, the problem-solving court movement was also gaining momentum. Largely inspired by therapeutic jurisprudence, an interdisciplinary framework that sees the law as a way to reach therapeutic outcomes, problem-solving courts seek to identify the root causes of criminal behavior and address those causes in ways that promote rehabilitation and reduce recidivism. Veterans Treatment Courts (“VTCs”) emerged when veterans advocacy intersected with the problem-solving court movement. This Note explores the origins, growth, and general structure of VTCs. Focusing on the legal implications for veterans who graduate from VTCs, this Note argues that leaving veterans with a criminal conviction directly contradicts the reasons the programs were created and exposes veterans to collateral consequences, only adding additional barriers to reintegration into American civil society.