WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Justice For Vets will host the 2015 Vet Court Con at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, July 27-30th.   The event will kick off with keynote remarks from United States Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald. Thousands of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, volunteer Veteran Mentors, volunteer Veteran Mentor Coordinators, law enforcement officers, mental health and drug addiction treatment professionals, VA employees, and many others working in Veterans Treatment Court or with justice-involved veterans will attend this historic gathering.

"Justice For Vets enables the creation of a nationwide network of Veterans Treatment Courts that is transforming the way veterans are handled in the criminal justice system. In doing so we will keep veterans out of jail and prison; saving their lives, their families, and their futures, while saving tax dollars for the American public," said Justice For Vets Senior Director Melissa Fitzgerald.  "We are expecting an unprecedented number of attendees at our 3rd annual Vet Court Con as the growth and reach of Veterans Treatment Courts continue to expand exponentially throughout the nation."

July 27 – Opening Ceremony, 8:00am - 10:00am

  • VA Secretary Bob McDonald will be speaking.
  • Veterans Treatment Court program graduates and judges from across the country.
  • 90 veterans from across the country will participate in a 2 day the Justice For Vets National Volunteer Veteran Mentor Corps bootcamp training. They will be sworn in as mentors during the closing ceremony on Thursday.

July 29 – Capital Hill Day

Veterans Treatment Court professionals and graduates will head to Capitol Hill to let members of Congress know about the lifesaving work in Veterans Treatment Courts and to urge lawmakers to support Veterans Treatment Court funding.

July 30  – Justice For Vets Closing Ceremony, 10:30am – 12:30pm

  • MSNBC Host Chris Matthews
  • Silver Star recipient Tommy Rieman to discuss his difficult transition home and experience in Veterans Treatment Court
  • Justice For Vets National Veteran Mentor Corps Swearing-In Ceremony
  • Comedian Alonzo Bodden

About Veterans Treatment Courts

  • There are now more than 220 Veterans Treatment Courts nationwide with hundreds more in the planning and developmental stages.
  • Veterans Treatment Courts are currently serving more than 11,000 veterans.
  • In Veterans Treatment Courts the judge, prosecutor, defense council, probation department, and law enforcement work together with treatment providers, the VA/VBA and volunteer veteran mentors. This team works with the veterans to address their needs, ranging from treatment to housing, employment and family counseling. Veterans appear regularly in court for the team to review their progress and to meet with volunteer veteran mentors.
  • Research has shown Veterans Treatment Courts significantly improve outcomes for PTSD treatment, reduce recidivism, and save money.

About Justice For Vets

Justice For Vets is a division of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and leads the national effort to establish Veterans Treatment Courts within reach of every veteran in need.  When veterans enter the criminal justice system due to substance abuse, mental illness, or trauma, we connect them to the benefits and treatment they have earned; saving their lives, families, and futures, and saving tax dollars for the American public. Justice For Vets is building a National Mentor Corps of volunteer veterans to serve in Veterans Treatment Court, provides ongoing training and technical assistance to the Veterans Treatment Court field, shapes public opinion through aggressive media outreach, and advocates for state and federal legislation. Justice For Vets annually hosts Vet Court Con, the nation's only training conference dedicated to justice-involved veterans. For more information visit www.JusticeForVets.org.

Chris Deutsch
Justice For Vets