Asheville is home to the Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) which is an example of a treatment court that specifically serves the veteran community. The goal of the VTC is to assist and support justice-involved veterans and their families as they move through a coordinated effort among the court and community-based veteran services, while improving their quality of life.
The VTC is a voluntary, court-supervised, intensive treatment court for U.S. Military Veterans charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony offenses who are struggling with addiction, mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders. Substance use treatment (and mental health disorders) is an integral part of the VTC.
"Instead of punishment, they offer treatment. Instead of indifference, they show compassion. The average national completion rate for treatment courts is nearly 60%, approximately two-thirds higher than probation and more than twice the rate of probationers with substance use disorders."
The goal of treatment courts like the VTC is to support the whole person on the continuum to wellness and recovery. Rather than just incarcerating justice-involved persons who are struggling with addiction, courts like the VTC seek a holistic approach to moving people into long-term recovery through various treatment programs, ongoing therapy, and accountability.
More than 100 courts serving the veteran community specifically and more than 3,000 treatment courts are operating nationwide. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), treatment courts “view [addiction] as a disease. Instead of punishment, they offer treatment. Instead of indifference, they show compassion. The average national completion rate for treatment courts is nearly 60%, approximately two-thirds higher than probation and more than twice the rate of probationers with substance use disorders.”
Kevin Rumley is a 2018 graduate of WCU's Master of Social Work program and now serves as the Coordinator for the Buncombe County VTC. Additionally, he is a person in long-term recovery from a decade-long battle with opioid and alcohol addiction. As the Coordinator of the VTC, he oversees the progress of veterans who are participating in their program.
Check out the stories Colton Hensley and Robinson Moore, both veterans, and how the Veterans Treatment Court has helped them on their path to long-term recovery from opioid and other drug addictions.