"Leave No One
Regardless of the Battlefield"
The California Veterans Legal Task Force
San Diego County is home to the largest concentration of military activity in the world, with 137,000 active duty military personnel, 250,000 veteran residents and the largest discharged Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) veteran population in the nation. About 38,000 veterans in the county have recent combat service, the highest concentration of any county in the U.S. and almost double the number residing in Los Angeles. Of that number, VA Research indicates that approximately 11,550 will suffer a diagnosable mental condition related to their service. Studies from the Bureau of Justice Administration can be used to predict that almost 5,800 of them will be incarcerated for criminal activity, 1,900 for felony crimes. At present an average of 100 self-identified military veterans are booked into San Diego County Jail each week.
Our Statewide Mission
The California Veterans Legal Task Force is a non-profit corporation established under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)3 with a mission to assist California counties in establishing and sustaining veterans treatment courts. These courts operate to encourage and provide treatment for veterans with diagnosed psychological conditions stemming from their military service. Veterans treatment courts operate in California under Penal Code Section 1170.9, which provides state courts the power to defer jail sentences for qualifying veterans convicted of a crime and to restore their civil rights upon succesful completion of their program, providing certain condition are found by the judge.
Our Local Mission
Working within the Veterans Treatment Review Calendar (VTRC) - the veterans treatment court of the San Diego Superior Court - the California Veterans Legal Task Force serves to coordinate and help manage the county's successful veterans court program, conduct the data collection and evaluation components, and recruit, train and supervise the volounteers who mentor participants through peer support.
VTRC is a collaborative court approach to the adjudication of veterans with military-related mental health conditions. The VTRC promotes accountability through a combined program of judicial supervision, justice partner collaborative efforts and appropriate treatment and support. This collaborative model establishes a comprehensive program for the veteran-defendant that responds to his or her needs, and promotes public safety.