The mission of the Washington County Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) program is to enhance public safety and reduce recidivism by offering eligible justice-involved veterans a sentencing alternative through a comprehensive, judicially-supervised treatment program to address underlying substance use and/or mental health disorders. Our goal is to return healthy, law-abiding veterans to the community using best practices and evidence-based approaches.

VTC is a treatment court program designed for offenders whose honorable military service is somehow linked to their criminal conduct; for example, a wounded warrior who subsequently developed an addiction to opiates and is now facing criminal drug charges. VTC referrals are screened based upon their criminal charges, their eligibility for VA health care, and the nexus between their military service and criminal charges.   

All inquiries and referrals should be directed to the VTC Coordinator, Marie Ramage, at (503) 846-8626 or Marie_Ramage@co.washington.or.us. Initial inquiries and referrals to the VTC Coordinator should include the defendant’s name and case number(s).

 

 

HISTORY AND FUNDING

The Washington County Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) program was established to provide alternative sentencing opportunities for justice-involved veterans. The first program participant entered VTC on June 21, 2018. The Washington County District Attorney’s Office applied for a Drug Court Discretionary Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance in June 2018. This $550,000 grant was awarded on September 25, 2018. The original grant project and budget period spans from January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2022. Grant funds are used to cover the following costs: personnel (VTC Coordinator and Volunteer Mentor Coordinator); team training; community-based domestic violence treatment and counseling; temporary clean and sober housing; polygraph services; remote monitoring; and substance use monitoring.

VTC TEAM

VTC is operated by an interdisciplinary team made up of representatives from the following agencies: the Washington County Circuit Court; the Washington County District Attorney’s Office; the Oregon Defense Attorney Consortium; Washington County Community Corrections (Probation and Parole); Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services; the Washington County Sheriff’s Office; and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The goal of the VTC team is to support program participants throughout their time in the program, in order to help them succeed in their recovery and commitment to a law-abiding life.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

The VTC program is split into two tracks: “Alpha Track” and “Bravo Track.” Each participant is assigned to a track upon entering the program. Alpha Track is structured to be an 18-month program (though it could be completed in 15 months), and Bravo Track takes a minimum of 12 months to complete. Each track is separated into phases. Each phase has its own requirements, and participants advance to the next phase once they have completed all requirements of their current phase. Participants graduate from the program once they have completed all requirements of the final phase.

ELIGIBILITY

In order to qualify for VTC, referrals will be screened for the following eligibility criteria:

  • Washington County resident.
  • Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces who received an Honorable or General Under Honorable Conditions Discharge and is eligible for VA healthcare.
  • High clinical need for substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment.
  • Other treatment needs, for example: domestic violence, anger management, Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), parenting classes, etc.
  • Criminal behavior is linked to military trauma or injury.

Most misdemeanor, Class C felony, felony drug possession, and felony property crimes are eligible for VTC entry. Other felony crimes will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis that ensures public safety.  

Examples of these crimes include, but are not limited to, firearm-related crimes, Class A and B violent felony property crimes, and drug delivery crimes.

The following factors will automatically disqualify someone from the program:

  • Active duty military personnel.
  • Veterans who are ineligible for VA healthcare.
  • Pending charges related to sex crimes.
  • A prior graduation from the Washington County VTC or Adult Drug Court programs.

The following factors are likely to disqualify a candidate from the program on a case-by-case basis:

  • Crimes involving the use or threatened use of a firearm.
  • Crimes involving child physical abuse.
  • Commercial Drug Offenses.
  • Prior arrests for sex crimes/sex offender status.
  • Prior termination from the Washington County VTC or Adult Drug Court programs.

The VTC team will staff candidates on a case-by-case basis who do not meet all eligibility criteria listed above. Case-by-case determinations will consider the following non-exclusive factors: (1) public safety, (2) candidate’s criminal history, (3) likelihood of success for community supervision, (4) treatment and supervision services available, and (5) victim input.

REFERRAL AND ENTRY PROCESS

All inquiries and referrals should be directed to the VTC Coordinator, Marie Ramage, at (503) 846-8626 or Marie_Ramage@co.washington.or.us. Initial inquiries and referrals to the VTC Coordinator should include the defendant’s name and case number(s). The District Attorney’s Office will then screen the defendant for any presumptive exclusions before the referral process continues. If the charges are approved for further screening, the VTC Coordinator will work with the VTC defense counsel and the referring party to obtain the following completed forms:

*Please note that the attached VA Form 10-5345 has been prefilled for use with Veterans who are applying and/or entering the Washington County Veterans Treatment Court.

The VTC team will evaluate a candidate’s eligibility based upon the criteria listed above. If approved for entry, the candidate will meet with the VTC Probation Officer to determine his/her track assignment: Alpha Track or Bravo Track. Then the candidate’s defense attorney will work with the VTC DDA to establish the terms and date of entrance into the program. Entry agreements may include a deferred sentence with dismissal of some or all charges, reduction of felonies to misdemeanors, or suspended imposition of a jail or prison sentence. Each criminal case and the needs of each participant are unique. Therefore, every entry agreement will also be unique to the needs and circumstances of the individual participant.

DONATIONS

VTC is federally funded through the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, which prohibits grant funds from being used for ancillary expenditures such as program incentives, graduation materials, miscellaneous participant needs, and program materials. Therefore, these important components of the program must be funded through donations from community members and organizations dedicated to supporting veterans. In-kind donations might include, but are not limited to: day planners; gift cards to local businesses; tickets to local events; gas cards; etc. Contributions and donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.

CONTACT

All inquiries, referrals, and donations should be directed to the VTC Coordinator, Marie Ramage.

Phone: (503) 846-8626

Fax: (503) 846-8612

Email: Marie_Ramage@co.washington.or.us

Mail: 150 N. 1st Ave., Suite 300, MS 40, Hillsboro, OR 97214