Veterans Treatment Court set to start in Johnson County

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. - The first Veterans Treatment Court in Kansas will start on Wednesday in Johnson County.

Judge Timothy McCarthy will preside over the court.

"The idea is to evaluate those people to try to identify those with needs, and what we are looking for is people with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, with depression, with substance abuse issues," said McCarthy. "These aren’t the most serious crimes, these are lower level felonies and misdemeanors."

While the court will be the first of its kind in Kansas, there are several similar courts in Missouri.

VIDEO: Veterans court program expanding

"It definitely saved me, and that's why I definitely believe it’s going to save a lot of veterans' lives," said Joshua Boley, a former Marine who did three tours in four years. "I was in the regular court prior to this, and it didn't help me at all. I just kind of kept getting worse."

Boley is currently going through the Veterans Treatment Court in Clay County. 

The specialty court offers an alternative to incarceration.

The veterans are given a strict schedule of drug and alcohol testing, frequent court appearances and a mentor, who is also a veteran.

The treatment courses are 12 to 18 months.

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Richard Sharp can be reached at richard.sharp@kshb.com.

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