Critical concerns in Iraq/Afghanistan war veteran-forensic interface: veterans treatment court as diversion in rural communities.J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2013; 41(2):256-62.JA
The veteran-forensic interface is an emerging area of relevance to forensic clinicians assessing or treating returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans facing criminal sanctions. Veterans' Treatment Court (VTC) represents a recent diversion mechanism for low-level offenses that is based on a collaborative justice model. Thirty-nine percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and receiving VA services reside in rural areas. Rural veterans facing criminal justice charges may be at a disadvantage due to limited access to forensic psychiatrists with relevant expertise in providing veterans services for diversion. Therefore, widening the pool of forensic clinicians who have such expertise, as well as knowledge of the signature wounds of the wars as related to aggression and reckless behavior is necessary. This article presents an overview of VTCs and discusses the role of forensic clinicians as stakeholders in this process.