Neff on Treatment Courts for Veterans

Professor Laurie Forbes Neff, director of the law school’s Clinic for Legal Assistance to Servicemembers and Veterans, contributed an opinion piece to the Richmond-Times Dispatch. Neff discusses Virginia’s Problem-Solving Court Act, which would create treatment courts for veterans and those with mental illnesses.


Research shows that when the underlying causes of criminality are addressed with treatment versus incarceration, recidivism decreases, the costs of incarceration decrease and the community avoids additional economic and social costs associated with criminal behavior. By example, in one year, a veterans treatment court saved Cook County, Ill., almost $600,000 due to the decrease in the number of incarcerated veterans. Mental health-focused problem-solving courts show recidivism rates at 10 percent to 15 percent, compared with drug courts, which report recidivism rates of 25 percent.

Neff: Problem-solving courts for veterans, Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 17, 2015. By Laurie Forbes Neff.