The Shelby County Veterans Court is a judicially supervised treatment program for persons whose substance abuse, dependency and or serious mental health issues appear to have contributed significantly to their current arrest and or conviction of a crime.  This program requires a total commitment to remaining clean and sober as well as dealing with any mental health issues and leading a law-abiding life. Unless sentenced to Shelby County Veterans Court, the consent of the prosecutor, defense counsel, and defendant, the referring Judge and or the Shelby County Veterans Court Judge is required. However, an offender may be required to participate as a result of being sentenced.

Participating in the Shelby County Veterans Court requires regular court appearances before the Hon. William “Bill” Anderson Jr. the Presiding Veterans Court Judge. The Shelby County Veterans Court is located on the lower floor of 201 Poplar in Division 7.  You will be required to follow and complete a treatment plan. Treatment begins immediately upon your first appearance in court. You will be referred to the Veterans Administration as well as other appropriate programs for an initial screening and evaluation.

This plan may require all or some of the following:

  • Outpatient treatment
  • Inpatient treatment/Residential treatment
  • Halfway House or Transitional housing placement
  • Regular and random Shelby County Veterans drug testing
  • Counseling (individual and group)
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Educational/vocational/employment program
  • Participation in self-help (AA/NA) groups

The Veterans Court case management staff will also help you with other areas of your life according to your individual needs. This may include referrals for:

  • Skills testing and an educational assessment
  • Job Training and job-readiness training
  • School or other educational services
  • Job placement services
  • Family counseling
  • Life Skills classes
  • Public Assistance/Medicaid
  • Recreational activities

You are required to appear in Shelby County Veterans Court weekly or every other week and depending on your progress, your appearances in court may be reduced to once a month. The Judge will be given progress reports on you regarding your Shelby County Veterans drug tests, attendance, and participation in your treatment program. These reports will come from the members of the Veterans Court support team with whom you are working (such as Veterans Administration, First Step Recovery, and Vet Center etc.). The Judge will ask you about your progress, and discuss any problems you may be having.

You will be expected to remain arrest free, remain clean and sober, and attend all your scheduled court appearances and all your scheduled treatment appointments.  Attending all of your scheduled treatment sessions, include individual/ group counseling, substance abuse and mental health  sessions and all other sessions as directed is mandatory. You will be required to be on time for all sessions. If you are late, you may not be allowed to attend and may be considered absent. Your treatment schedule will vary according to your progress. It is your responsibility to schedule all needed appointments and to arrive on time for all of them.   The Veterans Court treatment team, your treatment providers, and YOU will develop plans to fit your specific needs.  One will specifically address your substance abuse problem and or mental health issues, and others will address other life issues such as education, vocational training, parenting and family skills.  These plans will be strength based and will serve as a guide or roadmap during your participation in the program.  Expect to contribute to them with your thoughts and needs.

One of the primary goals of Veterans Court program is to help you remain abstinent from alcohol and all non-prescribed drugs. You will be drug tested throughout the entire program. The Judge will have access to all test results including failures, refusals to test and adulterated tests. A drug test may be ordered at any time. A positive test or admission of alcohol or other drug use will not disqualify you but may result in a sanction or change in treatment plan. Drug screens may be conducted at your treatment facility, during court appearances, or at any other time.