News from City Hall
City Communications Office
City of Kansas City, Mo.
CONTACT: City Communications Office, 816-513-0049
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 26, 2010
Municipal Veterans Court selected for training program
The Municipal Veterans Court of the City of Kansas City, Mo. has been selected to participate in the second training program of the Veterans Treatment Court Planning Initiative, tentatively scheduled for February 2011. The VTCPI, which is the first Veterans Treatment Court training program in the United States, established its training programs to help courts improve their services to Veterans and their communities.
The Municipal Veterans Court, one of five specialized courts within the City of Kansas City, Mo. Municipal Court, received approval for the Court’s participation in the VTCPI training following a review process by representatives from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Drug Court Institute. The Municipal Veterans Court of Kansas City, Mo. is one of only 20 such courts in the United States selected for participation in this training program.
While the first VTCPI training program is restricted to Veterans Courts in the planning stages, the second program – which Kansas City’s Municipal Veterans Court will attend – is targeted at operational veterans courts. Kansas City’s Municipal Veterans Court was established in early 2010, and is presided over by Judge Ardie Bland.
Interest in establishing a Veterans Court began through the Municipal Court’s participation in the Stand Down program, a one-day annual program in which veterans are represented by volunteer attorneys at no charge so that they can dispose of their outstanding tickets in Municipal Court. Court employees have been donating their time to this program since its inception 17 years ago.
Due to the popularity of this program and the increasing demand for pro bono services to veterans, the Municipal Court established the Veterans Court to provide these services on an ongoing basis. The Veterans Court is held one day each month and provides defendants with treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues, provided predominantly through the VA, with close judicial supervision. “As a relatively new specialized court, we are honored to be selected for the VTCPI program,” said Judge Bland. “We look forward to applying strategies from the training program to help us to further improve Veterans Court services.”
Media inquiries about this topic should be directed to John Franklin, Municipal Court, 816-513-3900.