Veterans Treatment Court Receives Recognition
The Coweta Circuit Veterans Treatment Court was named a Model Court at the Council of Accountability Courts 2021 Annual Training Conference. The goal of Georgia’s Accountability Court Model Court Program is to recognize the great work of accountability courts across the state, as well as identify strong programs that may serve as mentors for other courts. Programs identified as Model Courts are those that have met and exceeded adherence to Georgia’s Standards as dictated by strong performance on certification and peer review processes. Chief Superior Court Judge John Simpson is the judge and Jennifer Barnett is the Court Coordinator for Coweta Circuit Veterans Court. The court was congratulated for meeting the key components of Georgia’s Problem Solving Court Model.
The Veterans Treatment Court began operation in 2015 and accepts high and moderate risk participants. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most common mental health diagnosis among participants. On August 4 and 5, 2021, a team of investigators from Fulton County led by Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk evaluated the Coweta Circuit Veterans Treatment Court. The results of that independent review showed the following.
All key team members attend staffing meetings (judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, program coordinator, and probation).
All key team members attend court sessions and status review hearings.
The court offers mental health treatment.
The participants have status review sessions at least every two weeks during the first phase of treatment.
The court offers gender specific services.
The typical length of jail sessions is less than one week.
Drug tests are collected at least twice per week during the first phase of treatment.
Drug tests are back in two days or less.
Team members are given a copy of written guidelines for sanctions.
The Veterans Treatment Court collects and maintains data that are critical to monitoring and evaluation in an electronic database (rather than paper files).
The judge spends three minutes or more with each participant in status review hearings.
Treatment includes standardized evidence-based practices (based on the Georgia Veterans Treatment Court Treatment Standards) and other practices recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Registry of Evidence-Based Policies and Practices.
Shown Above L-R: Chief Judge John Simpson, Deputy Sheriff Warren Miley, Veterans Court Director Jennifer Barnett, Clinical Case Manager Donna Hansman, Coweta Circuit Assistant District Attorney Jared Parish, and Treatment Coordinator Reggie Jordan.