Mississippi College Law Review

Publication Date

Fall 2023


Veterans provide an invaluable service to protect and defend the ideals of this nation. Today, there are roughly 18 million veterans living in the United States, and Mississippi is home to over 187,000. While many servicemen successfully integrate back into civilian life, trauma and addiction follow others which often leads to confrontations with the criminal justice system. The traditional Mississippi court system is ineffective for many veterans because the underlying issues that led to their incarceration cannot be treated with mere confinement.

Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) address the underlying issues that often lead to criminal activity and offer a veteran the opportunity to rehabilitate as an alternative to incarceration. Though three Mississippi Circuit Courts have implemented VTCs in their jurisdiction, Mississippi remains limited in its ability to efficiently and effectively aid justice-involved veterans due to limitations regarding jurisdiction, crime status, and discharge status.

To that effect, the ultimate purpose of this Article is to address the underlying, service-related issues that correlate with many veterans’ involvement with the criminal justice system and propose a solution to properly rehabilitate every justice-involved Mississippi veteran. This objective may be accomplished in two ways: (1) The Mississippi Judiciary should adopt a statewide VTC; and (2) the Mississippi Legislature should amend Mississippi Code Annotated § 9-25-1 to remove VTC participation limitations concerning jurisdiction, discharge status, and crime status.



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