Chairman of Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard to Speak about Veterans in the Criminal Justice System and the Need for Veterans Treatment Court Expansion - Wednesday, December 4

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Justice For Vets is honored to announce Vet Court Con, the first national conference on veterans involved in the criminal justice system as a result of substance abuse and mental health problems will conclude on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM with remarks by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbad in Washington, DC at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC.

Veterans Treatment Courts have emerged as a community based-solution to the influx of veterans before the courts with substance abuse and mental health disorders. Over 1,000 justice and treatment professionals are attending Vet Court Con.

General Dempsey will speak about transitioning veterans for war to peace, the role of the community in assisting with reintegration, and how Veterans Treatment Courts are a prime example of veterans and civilians working together to build better communities, and to ensure the future health of the All Volunteer Force.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will accept an award for her support of veterans and speak about her support for Veterans Treatment Courts.

"Veterans Treatment Courts are having a profound impact on veterans and their families, and we are deeply honored to have the support of the Chairman of Joint Chiefs," said Melissa Fitzgerald, new Senior Director of Justice for Vets. "The responsibility of helping our veterans reintegrate falls on every one of us, and Veterans Treatment Courts are an example of how community collaboration can save lives and keep military families intact."

Closing Ceremony, Wednesday December 4, 8-10am, Marriot Wardman Park. Media availability immediately following Closing Ceremony.

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey
  • Congresswoman Tulsa Gabbard (D-HI)
  • Melissa Fitzgerald, Senior Director of Justice for Vets, a division of NADCP
  • Nick Stefanovic, Veterans Treatment Court Graduate


  • There are 130 Veterans Treatment Courts in the nation and hundreds more planned.
  • 1 in 5 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffers from PTSD or mental health condition
  • 1 in 6 returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffers from a substance abuse disorder
  • Since 2004, the number of veterans being treated for mental illness and substance abuse has increased 38%
  • Over 700,000 veterans are in the corrections system
  • 81% of veterans arrested had a substance abuse problem when arrested
  • There were 120,000 homeless veterans at some point last year
  • 76% of homeless veterans have a substance abuse or mental health disorder
CONTACT: Chris Deutsch 202-222-8105

Source:Association of Drug Court Professionals