VTC Receives $75,000 Grant
Comal County Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) in May received a $75,000 grant from the Texas Veterans Commission.
The grant, awarded earlier this month, will help fund the salary of a court administrator, as well as pay for office supplies and other operational expenses for the court, which works with veterans who have been arrested for misdemeanor-level offenses, says County Court-at-Law Judge Charles Stephens, who oversees the program.
This is the second year the VTC has received a grant from the Veterans Commission’s Fund for Veterans’ Assistance. Last year, the court received $50,000.
“We’re grateful the commission continues to recognize the value our program brings to veterans in Comal County,” Stephens says. “Expanding the amount of the grant is a vote of confidence in our work to improve veterans’ lives and help them get back on the right track.”
VTC was created by Comal County Commissioners Court in August 2015 and scheduled its first hearing in January 2016. The court is designed to help veterans charged with misdemeanor offenses receive help for addiction, PTSD and other mental disorders potentially connected to their military service. A veteran may enter the program as part of a pre-trial diversion to dismiss the charges or as a condition of post-conviction probation.
Those interested in volunteering to help with the court can call Stephens’ office at 830-221-1180.
About Judge Stephens
Stephens was the catalyst for the creation of the Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) in Comal County that began operations this past January after two years of research, visiting other courts around the state, and many meetings.
VTC diverts justice-involved veterans from the traditional criminal justice system and focus on treatment, accountability, and well-being.
The court provides veterans with the tools they need to reintegrate into a productive, law-abiding lifestyle through a collaborative effort of support, treatment and accountability that leaves no veteran behind.
Stephens has served County Court at Law #2 Judge since his election in January 2004. He is a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and has chaired their International Committee. In 2010, Stephens started the Juvenile Truancy Program for New Braunfels and Canyon Schools. He worked with children in the JP court system while holding court every Monday at the schools. Stephens met with each child individually and worked on a plan to better serve each child.