HILLSBORO, Ore. - The Washington County District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington County Circuit Court, Washington County Community Corrections, and Washington County Veterans Services, is proud to announce the Washington County Veterans Treatment Court (VTC).  After more than a year of collaborative efforts, we have been able to forge a specialty court designed to treat the needs of military veterans. We recognize that military service can leave service members both physically and mentally scarred either from combat or other traumatic experiences. These service members often return to civilian life as a “different person,” and some of these veterans end up involved in the criminal justice system.

The VTC was designed with the belief that “if we broke them, then we must do what we can to fix them.”  There has long-been a void in the criminal justice system when it comes to addressing the specific needs of veterans. Oftentimes, veterans are treated like other criminal defendants by correcting behavior and treating substance abuse, but not adequately addressing the underlying causes of a veteran’s criminal conduct, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, traumatic brain injury, etc. Our partnership with the Portland VA Healthcare System is focused on tailoring treatment to the specific needs of veterans using evidence-based methods that will get veterans back on track to being the persons they once were.

The VTC will involve intensive supervision and treatment of veterans, as well as wraparound services including housing and employment services. The multidisciplinary treatment team includes judges, prosecutors, a defense attorney, probation officers, VA representatives and veteran mentors, many of whom are also veterans. Eligible veterans will need to establish a connection between their military service and the charged criminal offense(s). Once accepted into the program, the treatment team will work to re-instill structure and discipline in the veteran’s life and provide the veteran with the tools and opportunities to demonstrate that he or she is better than the charged crime. We anticipate the average supervision period to last eighteen (18) months, with variation based upon the needs of individual veterans. Successful veterans may be able to receive a dismissal of the criminal case, reduction of a felony charge to a misdemeanor, or a sentence of discharge.

The VTC seeks to enhance community safety by getting veterans into the intensive treatment they need and helping to restore them as productive, law-abiding members of our community and families. The VTC will compliment Washington County’s robust, existing specialty courts and programs, including Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Family Sentencing Alternative Program, Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing court, intensive drug and property probation, Early Case Resolution program and DUII Diversion court.  We look forward to launching the Veterans Treatment Court in the summer of 2018.

HILLSBORO, Ore. – The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is announcing the creation of a School Safety Task Force formed in partnership with the Washington County Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team (MDT).

The School Safety Task Force will work toward ensuring that schoolchildren, staff, and faculty are safe when they attend or work in Washington County public and private schools. The task force will consider a wide range of potential threats to school children. This will include evaluating initiatives to prevent school shootings and violence, as well as addressing cyber and online threats, sexting and sexual assaults, bullying, youth suicides, and drug endangerment. This task force will look for ways to compliment existing local, statewide, and national efforts to address school safety issues and focus on specific issues impacting Washington County schools.

Washington County is home to over 100,000 school-age children. All children, staff, and faculty in our schools have a right to a safe educational environment and the Washington County DA’s Office and Child Abuse MDT is committed to working to ensure that safety.

The School Safety Task Force will utilize the existing resources of the Washington County MDT, which is a public-private collaboration of representatives from various organizations who work to ensure the safety of children. The MDT has a long history of engaging in a multidisciplinary approach to enhance child safety.

The Washington County MDT is chaired by Chief Deputy DA Kevin Barton and includes members from the District Attorney’s Office, local law enforcement agencies, school districts, mental health professionals, the Department of Human Services (DHS), CARES Northwest, the Washington County Juvenile Department, Washington County Community Corrections, and the Washington County Health and Human Services Department.

For inquiries contact District Attorney PIO Andrew Freeman at 503-846-3759 or Andrew_freeman@co.washington.or.us (preferred).

Media contact information
Andrew Freeman
Public Information Officer
503-846-3759

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