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Billings, MT

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all mentor court visits will be conducted virtually. Complete the site visit application and Justice For Vets staff will work with you to ensure you get the most out of your visit.

Apply today and learn from a successful veterans treatment court. There is no cost to participate.

Teams or individuals interested in starting a treatment court can watch the model in action and established courts can learn new and innovative practices. You've read the research and understand the model, now is your chance to see it in action!

Ready to make your visit? Complete the application.

Three Ways To Learn From The Best

In-person Visit

All travel and related expenses are covered by Justice For Vets. In-person visits are currently suspended.

Virtual Visit

Can't fly to visit a treatment court in person? Observe a mentor court from a distance through video conference.

Professional Shadowing

Work one-on-one with a professional in a specific discipline to better understand their role on the team.

How It Works

Complete the application telling us about you and/or your court program. Justice For Vets staff will schedule a time with you to discuss your program further and plan your visit.

As part of the program, Justice For Vets pays all travel and related costs for approved court observers. Airline tickets and hotel are paid for directly by Justice For Vets with other expenses reimbursed upon completion of the visit. All funded visitors are required to complete a brief, online evaluation upon their return and before reimbursement. Based on feedback from the evaluation, Justice For Vets staff will determine what, if any, further training or technical assistance your program requires.

This program is made possible by through collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) within the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice.

About The Mentor Court

The Yellowstone County Veterans Treatment Court (known as Courts Assisting Military Offenders or CAMO) was founded in Billings, Montana in 2012. Elligible participants are veterans who currently serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Services and immediate family members of veterans affected by deployment and charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense.  In addition to having a diagnosed substance use and/or mental health disorder, participants may have the need for extensive case management services and/or ancillary services. The program also meets a gap in service, providing substance use and mental health treatment to veterans not eligible for VA services due to their discharge status or income restrictions.

Admissions

Clients are eligible for Veterans Treatment Court at various points in within the Justice system. The referral base is very broad as CAMO is a regional Veterans Treatment Court. Judges statewide, clients identified by the Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO), law enforcement, attorneys, probation and self-referrals are considered. Clients can enter CAMO at pre-plea, post-plea, and pre-sentence. We also receive many referrals from probation in lieu of the filing of a formal probation violation and revocation. Clients are identified by the jail as had having military service.

Every effort is made to accept participants into CAMO from the population of focus within 50 days of arrest. The court needs adequate jurisdictional target time of 12-24 months. Sex offenders and some registered violent offenders are excluded.

CAMO uses an electronic case management system, DCCM (Data Collection Case Management) that Coordinators use to screen potential clients for eligibility, plus risk and needs are assessed by RANT and Center for Court Innovation Assessment.

Once determined acceptance into CAMO, clients review contract with Defense Attorney, observe court and then are formally inducted into program.  Orientation and drug/alcohol testing is conducted immediately following induction.  Treatment begins on next business day.

Phases

Orientation/ Phase I:  Length of time: 30 days in program, weekly court appearances, minimum 3 weeks sober, testing minimum 3 times/ week, $50/ week in fees, attend minimum 3 self-help meetings per week, one case management / week.

Phase II:  Length of time: 60-90 days in program, Bi-weekly court appearances or Weekly depending on Risk Level, minimum 6 weeks sober, testing minimum 3 times/ week, $50/ week in fees, attend minimum 3 self-help meetings per week, one case management / week.

Phase III:  approximately 90 days in phase III, Bi-weekly or Monthly court appearances depending on Risk Level, 90 days sober, drug and alcohol testing minimum 3 times/ week, $200/ month in fees due to the court, attend minimum 3 self-help meetings per week, one bi-weekly case management appointment, Complete 10 hours of community service to a site of participant choice.

Phase IV: approximately 90 days in phase IV, Bi-weekly or Monthly court appearances depending on Risk Level, 18 weeks sober, drug and alcohol testing minimum 3 times/ week, $200/ month in fees due to the court, attend minimum 3 self-help meetings per week, one monthly case management appointment, 20 hours of community service to a site of participant choice, present relapse prevention plan to group.

Phase V: approximately 90 days in phase V,  Monthly court appearances, 24 weeks sober, drug and alcohol testing minimum 3 times/ week, $200/ month in fees due to the court, attend minimum 3 self-help meetings per week, one monthly case management appointment, present relapse prevention plan to team.
CAMO utilizes the follow Evidence Based Practices:

Treatment Continuum

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Matrix Model
  • Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT)
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Prolonged Exposure (PE)
  • Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT)
  • Seeking Safety
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Other treatments utilized:
  • Equine Therapy
  • Trauma Yoga and Meditation Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Gender Specific Groups
  • Couples Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • Anger Management

Mentoring

CAMO has an outstanding mentor program. This mentor group is a volunteer group of men and women with prior military service. Participants meet with Veterans individually and/ or group weekly. They may have more frequent contact with participants via phone, email or test. We facilitate an orientation program that includes information and training on the role of mentors, boundaries, common conditions of participants and how to refer concerns to court. This program has been extremely beneficial to participants. Mentors attend weekly staffing and relay participant’s progress from the previous week. They meet administratively and participate in ongoing training.

Unique features

CAMO is participating in two Pilot projects with the Center for Court Innovation.  The first Pilot Project, Teleservices allows participants to attend court, treatment, compliance monitoring and testing remotely.

The second Pilot Project, VTC Enhancement, has three parts: a Short Screener Tool, a Comprehensive Assessment Tool and Case Planning Management Tool.  Participants follow a Supervision plan based on Risk Levels determined from Comprehensive Assessment.

CAMO has an established Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Court and US Attorney to accept federally charged Veterans.

CAMO partners with Independence Hall to provide housing to homeless Veterans.  Independence Hall, a 20 bed transitional housing facility, is available to Veterans who are Honorably Discharged.

Participants of CAMO have access to the “Store” that is supplied with free clothing and personal care items.  Clients can choose to get Store credit as an incentive or other items that are available that day.  The Store is utilized for participants who are homeless or discharging from incarceration and need these items.