Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $624,378)
The Missouri Twenty-ninth Judicial Circuit Court (Jasper County, population 120,217), in partnership with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, local treatment provider Ozark Behavioral Health Center, Veterans peer support organization Compass Quest, local legal advocates, and scientific consultants, requests $499,516 from the US BJA FY 21 Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program (Category 2A: Veterans Treatment Courts, Competition ID: BJA-2021-00018) to enhance our veterans treatment court program through the proposed Jasper County Veterans Treatment Court Enhancement Initiative. The Jasper County Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) is a rolling admission, post-adjudication, five-phase, 18-month treatment program for United States veterans experiencing substance abuse (SA), mental illness (MI), and co-occurring disorders (CMISA). Current VTC operations feature half of the VTC 10 Key Components modeled after drug court principles with proposed activities intended to close programming gaps through infusion of the other five. Proposed primary activities include: expansion of the program to serve more non-violent veteran participants; needs based screening with the RANT tool for early identification and enrollment of targeted participants; enhanced evidence based treatment services for substance abuse, mental illness, and co-occurring disorders through expanded case management, increased MAT provision, additional drug-testing, a veteran mentor, peer support groups, addition of EMDR, a modality for PTSD, legal advocacy, annual training for VTC staff, and a data collection and mixed methods program evaluation to provide feedback, gauge project performance, and inform sustainability options. An embedded jail clinician will align individualized treatment plans including case management, CBT sessions, MAT, community service, restitution, and an aftercare/post-graduation success plan. Project goals include: 1) expand program enrollment; 2) minimize time to treatment through administration of RANT screening to coordinate program admission with VTC and abbreviate the timeframe between jail detention and court appearance to expedite treatment trajectories; 3) delivery of evidence based individualized treatment for SA, MI, and CMISA disorders; 4) effect relapse reduction among VTC graduates; and 5) effect recidivism reduction among VTC graduates. The research team will provide a final technical report to include an executive summary and program suggestions, as well as disseminate results to practitioner and scientific stakeholders through journal publications and conference presentations. The jurisdiction has an adult drug court that has previously received BJA funding but the VTC has not.