Veterans Treatment Court honors four new graduates during Dec. 7 ceremony
Johnson County’s Veterans Treatment Court honored its latest program graduates with a ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the Johnson County Courthouse.
Four veterans were honored, with three in attendance, during this graduation:
- Edgar Luster (Army 1986-89)
- Terry Wade (Army 2006-15)
- Brian Irving (Army 2015-19)
- Mark Osborn (Army 1985-93)
After Wednesday’s ceremony, a total of 62 veterans have graduated from VTC in Johnson County. There are currently 20 veterans in the program, with an additional 10 veterans in the application process. District Court Judge Timothy P. McCarthy, who spearheaded the effort to bring VTC to the county, presided over the recognition ceremony.
Courthouse and county officials were present for the ceremony.
Johnson County District Court founded the first treatment court for veterans in the state of Kansas in January 2016. A year later, VTC recognized its first veteran to graduate from the program.
VTC’s mission is to identify veterans in the criminal justice system and to place eligible service people into treatment and court supervision as an alternative to incarceration.
In 2008, Judge Robert Russell in Buffalo, New York, began the first docket dedicated to veterans after he saw an increase in the number of military servicemen appearing on his drug and mental health court dockets.
Today, more than 600 treatment courts in 40 states offer services to military veterans. VTC programs in Missouri are available in Jackson and Clay counties and the city of Kansas City. Wyandotte County, Kansas started a second VTC in 2021.