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Veterans Treatment Court (VTC)

Sedgwick County VTC Mission Statement

Leaving No Veteran Behind...


The Mission of the Sedgwick County Veterans Treatment Court is to enhance public safety while restoring dignity and accountability for justice involved Veterans through innovative, comprehensive and collaborative community-based partnerships.

What is Veterans Treatment Court?

The VTC is an unique alternative sentencing approach for Veterans from incarceration to supervised treatment and supportive services.  The primary objective of VTC is to promote public safety by providing an intra-agency, non-adversarial treatment strategy to Veterans in the criminal justice system who suffer from mental illness and/or substance use issues.

Sedgwick County Veterans Treatment Court is a collaboration between The Office of Judicial Administration, The 18th Judicial District Court, The Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office, The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, The Sedgwick County Department of Corrections, The Sedgwick County Sheriffs Department, and the Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services.

History of Veterans Treatment Courts

The first Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) was established in 2008 when Judge Robert Russell, an associate judge in Buffalo New York city court, noticed, while in a hearing, an individual standing before him who appeared withdrawn, would not make eye contact, and barely spoke.  Judge Russell identified the individual as a Veteran of the armed services.

He stopped the hearing and asked a couple of court employees whom he knew had also served in the military to take the individual out of the court room and talk with him.  When the individual returned to court he stood at the podium, looked Judge Russell in the eye and stated, “I will try harder to work on my problems”. Judge Russell noted the impact the fellow Veterans had on the individual and used that encounter to launch what is known as the Veterans Treatment Court or VTC.

Today, there are over 600+ VTCs operating in the United States and Guam. Sedgwick County is the third district in the state of Kansas to implement a Veterans Treatment Court.  There are currently four other VTC’s operating:


Johnson County

Wyandotte County

Shawnee County

Leavenworth County

The VTC Program

The Veterans Treatment Court is a voluntary, structured, 5 phase, 18 month program in which participants must attend treatment, meet regularly with their probation officer, regularly appear in court, abstain from using drugs or alcohol, submit to regular drug testing and meet with their assigned mentor.

Upon completion of the 5th phase, the Veteran becomes eligible for graduation.  Upon graduation the Veteran receives a certificate of successful completion, public recognition, and an order indicating all conditions of probation and/or original sentence has been met.



The Mentor Component!

A key component of the VTC is the Mentor Program.  Veterans are assigned a volunteer Veteran Mentor.  The Veteran mentor provides peer to peer support, acting as a coach, guide, role model and advocate.  Veterans need a support system that includes someone who understands military experience and different aspects of military culture.  Every effort is made to recruit mentors from all branches, and periods of service.


What Are The Benefits?

For The Veteran

  • Alternative sentencing option

  • Access to a comprehensive treatment plan through the VA or community providers

  • Specialized treatment and supervision designed to meet the needs of veterans.

  • Matched with a Veteran Mentor

For The Community

  • Reduced recidivism

  • Helps to ensure public safety

  • Helps to reduce homelessness


How Can I Help?

The VTC is currently recruiting 

volunteer Veteran Mentors.  If you have served in the United Stated Armed Forces, were discharged honorably, and have the desire to give back to your fellow Veterans please contact the VTC Mentor Coordinator or the VTC Court Coordinator TODAY!


Process to Enter the VTC?

  1. Notify ADA and/or Defense Counsel handling case, Court Services Officer or Intensive Supervision Officer that the client is a Veteran and interested in the VTC program.

  2. Complete the referral form and submit to the VTC Coordinator.

  3. Healthcare eligibility is verified by the Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator.

  4. The Veteran will participate in assessments to determine risk/need and clinical need.

  5. The Treatment Court Team reviews and staffs the case for program eligibility.

  6. The VTC Judge makes the determination of acceptance into the VTC program.

  7. Defendant signs a VTC Program Contract & Order and is scheduled to enter the VTC.


Who Is Eligible?


General Requirements:

  • Served in the United States Armed Forces.

  • Be a resident of Sedgwick county.

  • Discharged or released under conditions other than Dishonorable.

  • Charged with a Felony offense and/or be in violation of probation.

  • Eligible for healthcare benefits from the VA.

  • Agree to a term up to 18 months’ probation or an extension there of.

  • Agree to work with program provided Veteran.

Contact Information


Sedgwick County Courthouse

525 N Main, Wichita, KS 67203

Main Phone: (316) 660-5800

Saundra Haas
VTC Court Coordinator

Phone: 316-660-4909


Julie Torske
Mentor Coordinator

Phone: 316-660-5669


Jeff Friedlander
Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator

Phone: 316-889-5352


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