No Soldier Left Behind: A Comprehensive Analysis of Veterans’ Treatment Courts
2 Abstract Veterans’ Treatment Courts (VTCs) focus on rehabilitation, rather than incarceration, to address underlying causes of criminal behavior among veterans. Some criminal behavior in this population arises from substance abuse, traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health concerns (Justice for Vets, 2018). In order to determine the effectiveness of VTCs and the services provided, an in-depth and systematic analysis is crucial. In this research, a systematic approach was employed to analyze the current VTC process, participants selected, and recidivism rates among those who complete the sanctioned requirements. Following an adapted meta-analysis framework, evaluations of VTCs were analyzed. No Soldier Left Behind begins by examining the history of VTCs, the participant selection process, the crimes in which veterans commit, and the sanctions put forth in place of incarceration sentences. The primary purpose of this review is to assess recidivism of VTC participants and to identify the correlates of recidivism rates among participants. Although many sources tout that VTC's reduce criminal offending, rigorous evaluations are lacking. The eight studies analyzed in this review suggest that the average recidivism rate of VTC participants is 0.185, and VTC with mentor programs, lower graduation rates, and the possibility to drop criminal charges have the lowest recidivism. However, much more research is needed to fully evaluate the success of VTCs across the US.