Veterans Treatment Court honors latest graduates during April 24 ceremony

Two graduates of Veterans Treatment Court in a courtroom at the Johnson County Courthouse

John Lewis (left) and Timothy Tizya (right) were among the four graduates of Veterans Treatment Court honored at the April 24 graduation ceremony.

Johnson County’s Veterans Treatment Court honored its latest program graduates with a ceremony on Wednesday, April 24 at the Johnson County Courthouse.

A total of four veterans were honored during the graduation:

  • Timothy Tizya (Marine Corps, 1980-1983)
  • Ramsey Penn (National Guard, 2012-Current)
  • John Lewis (Army, 1990-2006)
  • Kenneth Payne (Army, 1984-1990)

After Wednesday’s ceremony, a total of 70 veterans have graduated from VTC in Johnson County. There are currently 12 veterans in the program.

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 250 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.

Learn more about Veterans Treatment Court  and court services available in Johnson County.

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