Wednesday, March 15, 2017 05:14 PM
SPRINGFIELD — Veterans could soon gain expanded access to rehabilitation treatment through the Veteran and Servicemember Court program under a proposal that was approved in the Senate Criminal Law Committee yesterday. The measure, sponsored by State Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago), allows veterans to request to participate in the Veterans Treatment Court after sentencing.
Often veterans do not recognize they have a problem or want to address the issue until after sentencing. At that point, under current law, they are no longer eligible to receive assistance.
“Unfortunately, a number of our veterans are struggling with substance and alcohol abuse as a result of their time in the Armed Forces, and we need to make sure they can take advantage of programs that help with their reintegration,” said Munoz, an Army veteran.
The Veterans Treatment Court is a structured system that requires participants to report to meetings with a probation officer, report to appointments with a VA case manager, attend drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs as required, and adhere to other recommendations and requirements.
Veterans who complete the VTC program may have their original charges dismissed, have their sentence terminated or be discharged from any further proceedings.
Senate Bill 1312 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
Sen. Antonio Munoz
Assistant Majority Leader
Years served: 1999 - Present
Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Executive Appointments (Chairperson); Insurance; Committee of the Whole.
Biography: Born Feb. 18, 1964, in Chicago; served in U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division; City of Chicago-Mayor's License Commission, Local Liquor Control Section (1990); Dept. of Aviation; Mayor's Office of Budget & Management; member of Fraternal Order of Police; married (wife, Patricia), has three children.