COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs (SCDVA) has been awarded a federal $1.8 million grant to assist with the funding and standardization of court treatment programs for Veterans in South Carolina.
The four-year grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice will help subsidize the cost of the administration and establishment of additional Veterans Treatment Courts across the Palmetto State.
In 2014, the South Carolina General Assembly passed the Veterans Treatment Court Program Act. The purpose is to divert qualifying Veteran offenders away from the criminal justice system and into appropriate rehabilitative treatment programs that combine intensive judicial supervision, mentorship, and treatment services to address the Veteran’s treatment needs.
South Carolina is divided into 16 judicial circuits. Currently there are six Veterans Treatment Courts in South Carolina. SCDVA Secretary Will Grimsley set a strategic objective to have a Veterans Treatment Court in every judicial district within the Palmetto State, and has consulted with South Carolina solicitors, judges, non-profit partners, as well as the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“Veterans Treatment Courts give those who served a second chance to make changes to their course through mentorship and other treatment services. Other states have seen tremendous success with Veterans who have completed the program and are now productive citizens in their communities. We want to ensure the same opportunity for our Veterans in South Carolina.”
Candace Terry who is the Director of Governmental Affairs with SCDVA says the grant money will be used to fund Veterans Treatment Courts in the state’s most economically disadvantage areas.
“Funding for diversionary programs such as Veteran Treatment Courts is currently limited in the state and there are many circuits that without the aid that this grant will provide would otherwise not be able to operate or establish a court. We are grateful for the opportunity to help these circuits so that they can provide this much needed intervention to the justice involved Veterans in their communities.”
As part of the grant, SCDVA will use funding to hire a new Veterans Treatment Court Coordinator that will work in collaboration with state solicitors, Veteran service organizations, state legislators and state agencies including the South Carolina Commission on Prosecution Coordination. For more information on Veteran Treatment Courts, visit our web site at scdva.sc.gov.