Veterans Justice

Western Mass Veterans Treatment Court

Established in 2015, the Western Massachusetts Veterans Treatment Court (WMVTC) works specifically with court-involved veterans and is centrally located at Holyoke District Court to serve veterans from Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties.  The Office of Northwestern District Attorney plays an integral role in the vision and operation of this court.   At any given time, the court typically services between 20 to 30 veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces, approximately half of which are from Franklin and Hampshire Counties. As of the end of 2019, a total of 36 participants had successfully graduated from the program. The participants in the Vets Court program commit to a long-term, intensive probation during which they receive services for their mental health and substance abuse needs.  They also receive assistance in locating stable, long-term housing and employment.

Justice Laurie McLeod is the presiding justice of the court.   She leads the Veteran Court team which is comprised of a cross section of the district court community.  The team includes representatives from the Northwestern and Hampden County District Attorney’s Offices, the probation department, the Holyoke Police Department, defense attorneys and clinical support from Soldier On and the VA Hospital in Leeds.  It is only appropriate that we have a Vet Court devoted to saving the lives of those who were willing to give up their lives for their country.

ADA Michael Russo serves as WMVTC coordinator for the NWDA.

Photo of 2019 Vets Court graduate and Judge Laurie McLeod
 2019 Veterans Treatment Court graduate and Judge Laurie McLeod

Read about the Veterans Treatment Court in this Daily Hampshire Gazette story.

Veterans Justice Partnership

The Veterans Justice Partnership is a collaboration of community and criminal justice partners with the goal of helping veterans in need. Our mission is to provide veterans with access to information, resources and programs to make positive transitions and lead productive lives.

Its purpose is to propose services and treatment options as alternatives to incarceration. We coordinate services between treatment providers and the courts, attorneys, jails, probation officers and houses of correction. 
Veterans Justice Partnership brochure

A VJP representative will:

  • Appear in court with veterans to provide information about resources, programs and treatment options
  • Provide peer support to veterans involved in the criminal justice system
  • Ensure veterans have access to all of the benefits available to them at federal, state and local levels
  • Coordinate treatment with local and state probation and parole agencies to ensure seamless services and support to veterans
  • Refer and link to services as needed including Medical and Mental Health Care, Substance abuse treatment, Veterans services, Vocational and independent living skills programs, Transitional residence programs, Family support, 12 months of peer support, 12 months of case management

Eligibility

  • Any person having a history of military service
  • Current involvement with the criminal justice system in Franklin, Hampshire or Hampden counties
  • For more information or assistance Call Soldier On Toll Free at: 1 (866) 406-8449

Resources:

veterans blue book

"The Blue Book: A Western Massachusetts Guidebook for Veterans and their Families," created by the Office of Northwestern District Attorney.