Monday, October 14, 2013

The Valor Act Diversion Program

While reading about yet another motor vehicle crashing into a store front, I was surprised to read about something called The Valor Act of 2012.  The person driving the vehicle this time was a veteran, clearly in need of services.  Suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury) from his 15 month service in Iraq and a second tour in Afghanistan, a vet who has no prior criminal convictions could be eligible for what is called Valor Act Diversion Program.

The Valor Act was established to provide support to veterans and their families in a number of different ways, including:  Section 16:  A defendant who is determined to be a veteran, on active service or has a history of military service in the armed forces of the United States and who is eligible for diversion or treatment  under section 10 may, at arraignment, be afforded a 14-day continuance by the court to seek an assessment by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  A probation officer shall have jurisdiction to divert to a program any person who is a veteran and who would benefit from a 14-day continuance to determine whether he or she is eligible for diversion to treatment services in lieu of imprisonment.

"These kind of intensive programs can be of real help", said Dr. Harry Croft, a Texas based psychiatrist who has evaluated more than 7,000 veterans with PTSD.  "He's not a criminal.  He may even be a hero.   It should be coupled with probation or something similar to hold the participating accountable so he/she continues with the treatment", Croft was quoted in the news article.

To read more about Veterans and services see our page Law About Verterans.