Hawaii Veterans Treatment Court Celebrates 15 Successful Graduates
News Release from Hawaii Judiciary, May 13, 2016
First Circuit Veterans Treatment Court Presiding Judge Ed Kubo with the May 2016 graduating class, consisting of two U.S. Army Veterans, one veteran from the U.S. Navy, one from the U.S. Marines, and a veteran of the Hawaii National Guard.
The Veterans Treatment Court of the First Circuit (Oahu) held its third graduation ceremony on May 13, 2016. More than 100 people gathered in the Supreme Court courtroom to congratulate the 5 U.S. veterans who completed the intensive two-year program.
Fifteen veterans have now successfully completed the First Circuit program since it was initiated by Judge Edward Kubo in 2013. Over the past three years an increasing number of attorneys have heard about the Veterans Treatment Court and submitted applications for their clients to be referred to the program. Hawaii now has Veterans Treatment Courts on both Oahu and Hawaii Island (Third Circuit).
The defendants selected to participate in Veterans Treatment Court are former military personnel who served our country, and later experienced adjustment difficulties. Many have mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and the majority struggle with substance abuse.
The Veterans Treatment Court takes a holistic approach to helping veterans by providing them with the resources and treatment they need to regain their health, obtain steady employment, and return to being law-abiding citizens so they may enjoy the freedoms they helped protect.
Each veteran has undergone extensive treatment and counseling, which includes frequent urinalysis, meetings with probation officers, and court appearances. Many of the services rendered to these veterans were provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at no cost to the state of Hawaii.
Each graduate has also been assisted with finding housing and employment. Their graduation celebrates their success in achieving a clean and sober lifestyle and a chance for a successful future with a job and other opportunities.
“I’d like to also recognize the staff from the U.S. Vets and Sand Island Treatment Center for their role in Veterans Treatment Court,” said Judge Edward Kubo. “Another integral part of this program’s success are the volunteer veteran mentors, who have an understanding of the difficulties these men and women are facing and walk alongside them throughout the process of recovery. It’s a team effort, and that’s what changes lives”