AVVBA Mentor Support for the Veterans CourtsThe Veterans Court Mentor Program is designed to help veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, mental disease, traumatic brain injuries and other physical injuries that are a result of their time in the service. When dealing with these issues veterans are finding themselves falling victim to substance abuse and other criminal activities.
Realizing this problem the Fulton County and Cobb Superior Courts, Accountability Court has implemented a program to enhance the Veterans Expanded Treatment Services that include a multifaceted clinical intervention for veterans who have entered the criminal justice system as a result of substance abuse. The program addresses the gaps in the continuum of treatment that are not currently targeting the needs of the returning war veteran.
The program goals are simple: The Veterans Court will create a viable solution for forty returning veterans a year struggling with addiction, serious mental illness and /or co-occurring disorders per year. The other goal is that thru this program we will help the veterans escape the revolving door of the criminal justice system and return them to society as productive and contributing individuals.
Since 2013, members of AVVBA have been involved in the formation of the new Veterans Courts in Georgia by helping design and implement a mentor program as an enhanced services program through the court, made available to the recovering veteran. A mentor is a person with military experience who is willing to help other veterans make the transition to normalcy. The mentor establishes a relationship that encourages, guides and supports the veteran through this eighteen month program.
Individuals who wish to volunteer as a mentor must complete an application, a background check and submit their DD214 verifying an honorable discharge or proof of being on active duty. Mentors should be good listeners willing to spend the time necessary to understand the concerns of the veteran mentee, and should make suggestions and assist them especially during anxiety-provoking times and ensure they don’t make promises that they can’t keep. A mentor must agree to spend a minimum of eight hours a month and be willing to go to Superior Court with the veteran mentee at least once a month.
There are many rewards to becoming a mentor. To find out more information on the mentor program for the Fulton or Cobb County Superior Courts, please contact the following coordinators: