Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
The Kansas judicial branch is dedicated to its mission of resolving disputes and protecting individual rights by ensuring equal, fair, and timely justice under the rule of law for all people of Kansas. With this mission in mind, the Supreme Court adopted Rule 191 forming the Specialty Court Committee and tasked it with making recommendations to the Court regarding the development and administration of specialty courts, including Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs).
There are currently 19 specialty courts in Kansas, including two VTCs. These courts are specialized dockets that utilize therapeutic or problem-solving procedures to address underlying factors that may be contributing to a party’s involvement in the criminal justice system, like mental illness or drug, alcohol, or other addiction. Kansas specialty courts are operated by judicial branch judges and personnel.
The Kansas judicial branch seeks this grant to establish new VTCs, enhance programming already occurring in existing VTCs, hire a statewide Specialty Court Coordinator, and expand the technical assistance provided by the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration.
During the lifetime of the grant, the Kansas judiciary’s VTC Team will expand their roles and responsibilities, attend educational trainings, fine tune its VTC model, adopt a VTC policies and procedures manual, and collaborate with others to better serve court users through specialty courts.