February 2018
Noninvasive Technology to Improve PTSD Symptoms in Military Personnel
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center conducted a pilot study on the effects of brainwave mirroring technology that showed a significant reduction in PTSD symptoms for military personnel. A total of 18 recent veterans and current service members who have had PTSD symptoms for one to 25 years participated in the noninvasive treatment. Data were collected prior to and post treatment sessions in the intervention, as well as at one-, three-, and six-month follow-ups after intervention completion. Through the six-month follow-up period, improvements were seen to PTSD symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, and depressive mood. The study was published in the December 2017 issue of Military Medical Research. 
Julie Marie Baldwin
Using national survey data, the study provides a descriptive national portrait of VTC participants’ personal and military characteristics and the legal, extralegal, and programmatic challenges they face. 

Daniel M. Blonigen, Allison L. Rodriguez, Luisa Manfredi, Jessica Britt, Andrea Nevedal, Andrea K. Finlay, Joel Rosenthal, David Smelson, & Christine Timko
This study interviewed veterans justice outreach and/or health care for reentry veteran specialists to examine the availability of empirically based treatments to address recidivism factors among veterans in contact with the criminal justice system.

Jack Tsai, Andrea Finlay, Bessie Flatley, Wesley J. Kasprow, & Sean Clark
The study examined VTC participants’ housing, employment, income, and criminal justice outcomes and identified factors associated with those outcomes.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Reports present counts of sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations by national, state, and CoC levels and includes subpopulation information, such as veteran status and the severely mentally ill. 
Practitioner Publications
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The three-page fact sheet reviews the relationship between criminal incarceration and veterans benefits and describes resources.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The four-page fact sheet defines military sexual trauma, reviews its effects, and explains MST disability compensation and how to apply, as well as provides resources.

Toni O. Davis & Keith A. Cates
This brief paper introduces specialty courts to counselors who may be considering providing clinical services in these environments, including veterans treatment courts, drug courts, and mental health courts.
Multimedia Resources
(e.g., webinars, podcasts, online resources)
TOMORROW, March 1 - 2:00-3:30pm EST
U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Benefits Security Administration
To better help individuals in the transition to life as a civilian, this webinar provides instruction on employment, training, benefits, and financial education resources, including transition assistance resources and how to make the most of employer benefits (e.g., retirement accounts).

How to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade: Web-based and Interactive
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
This interactive online resource presents a series of questions that participants can answer to produce an individualized “step-by-step” guide for applying for discharge modifications.

National Institute of Justice and RTI International
This webinar series addresses various aspects of the opioid crisis. While many of the topics are geared toward law enforcement and forensics, several webinars may be of interest to our subscribers. For example:
  • The Opioid Overdose Epidemic: CDC Response addresses the opioid overdose epidemic and its public health effects and then describes a multi-faceted public health approach to the issue. 
  • Collaboration in the Fight Against Fentanyl presents a comprehensive governmental approach (identified partnerships, innovations) to fentanyl analogue identification and interdiction, drawing attention to the crisis and the strengthening of legal mechanisms.

National Drug Court Institute
An online training curriculum designed to educate treatment court professionals on medication assisted treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders focusing on opioid use disorders.
Policy Updates
California Assembly Bill 376 ENACTED - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2018
California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the California Department of Veterans Affairs, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture are required to identify and post specified information to assist veterans entering farming or ranching careers.

California Senate Bill S 776 ENACTED - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2018
Department of Veterans Affairs is to provide one employee for every 5 state prisons, who is trained and accredited by the department to assist incarcerated veterans in applying for and receiving any federal or other veterans' benefits for which they or their families may be eligible. Also requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to give the Department of Veterans Affairs' employees access to the hardware, software, and those computer networks as are reasonably necessary.

Michigan Senate Bill 435 ENACTED - EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 11, 2018
Amends 1961 PA 236, entitled “An act to revise and consolidate the statutes relating to the organization and jurisdiction of the courts of this sta te.” It also solidifies VTC requirements and conditions for participants.

New Jersey Assembly Bill 4401 ENACTED - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2018
Authorizes certain benefits for particular family members of military personnel who died while on active duty.
Event Calendar
Events Providing Resources for Veterans

Veteran-Focused or -Related Community Events

Upcoming Events Notice
In the News
Our mission is to inform policy, practice, and scholarship through the distribution of current veterans treatment court-related resources.   
The  National Drug Court Resource, Policy, and Evidence-Based Practice Center , funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and operated by the Justice Programs Office (JPO) at American University, strives to provide practitioners and professionals working in the drug court field with current resources and upcoming events.  Please email  ndcrc@american.edu  with any inquiries.
To submit content for the next issue of this newsletter, please email ndcrc@american.edu with "Veterans’ Justice and Mental Health Newsletter” in the subject line.
National Drug Court Resource Center | Justice Programs Office