February 24, 2020
The Kane County Veterans Treatment Court held its first graduation ceremony on February 24, 2020 at the Kane County Judicial Center Court Room.
The Kane County Veterans Treatment Court began in January 2018. The ceremony celebrated the first graduate of the program. The ceremony marks the completion of an intensive program of comprehensive substance abuse and mental health treatment and accountability for a combat veteran who served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Master of Ceremonies for the graduation was Kane County Specialty Court Judge Marmarie Kostelny. The graduation included a color guard and words from the Graduate and his treatment team.
Veterans' Treatment Courts have gained national prominence as the most innovative solution for veterans caught up in the criminal justice system due to substance use and/or mental health disorders and trauma. A growing number of veterans suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injury. These issues can be exacerbated by the loss of structure and camaraderie found in the military. Research continues to link substance use disorders with service-related mental health conditions. These conditions can increase involvement with the justice system.
Veterans' Treatment Courts offer a solution.
In the Kane County Veterans Treatment Court, those veterans with a diagnosed mental health condition or substance use disorder engage in treatment while under close supervision. Veterans Treatment Court participants are required to complete all necessary treatment and are regularly and randomly tested for drug and alcohol use. The Veterans are also required to appear
frequently in court for the judge to review their progress. Research continues to show that Veterans Treatment Courts work better than jail or prison and better than treatment alone. Veterans Treatment Courts connect these men and women to the benefits and treatment they deserve, saving their lives, families, and futures, while saving tax dollars for the American public.
According to Judge Marmarie Kostelny, "We are excited to celebrate the success of our first graduate. He has done an outstanding job in a very rigorous program. Our veterans make great sacrifices for the benefit of our nation. I am proud that our judicial system has a program designed to assist veterans who have struggled upon their return home."