Charles George VA Medical Center - Asheville, NC
Veterans Treatment Court
Cynthia Breyfogle, director of the Charles George VA Medical Center, and Judge Marvin P. Pope signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Feb. 27 to establish a new Veterans Treatment Court in Buncombe County. Judge Marvin Pope, who will preside over the court, will handle numerous Veterans' cases instead of Veterans appearing before random judges who may or may not have an understanding of their unique problems.
“Buncombe County has been working on this since 2011, and we are proud to be the second [Veterans Treatment Court] in North Carolina,” Pope said.
“We are so excited to sign this Memorandum of Understanding today. It is an agreement between the Buncombe County court system and the Asheville VA to work collaboratively to meet the unique needs of Veterans with legal issues.”
The Veterans Treatment Court team will include a presiding judge, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, court staff, and a representative from the Asheville VA, trained Veteran mentors, and other treatment professionals all there for a singular purpose: assist Veterans in their rehabilitation by addressing their unique service-related needs.
Katie Stewart, a Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist at Charles George VA Medical Center, will provide case management to Veterans enrolled in the Veterans Treatment Court.
“I am here to ensure that Veterans with legal issues are receiving all needed treatment services, as well as act as a liaison between the court and the medical center,” Stewart said. “I am also a member of the Veterans Treatment Court Steering Committee and in that role will provide some input into the development and management of the court.”
Veterans Treatment Courts are modeled after drug courts, and were developed to avoid unnecessary incarceration of Veterans who have deployed to war and subsequently developed mental health problems.