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Regional Veterans Court (RVC)

Learn what makes King County Regional Veterans Court (RVC) unique and how the program works.

Program overview

King County has a long tradition of honoring and serving military personnel and veterans. King County District Court recognizes that veterans in the justice system may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other service-related disabilities. The King County Regional Veterans Court (RVC) seeks to increase effective cooperation between federal, state, and local veteran’s service agencies and the criminal justice system.  The mission of the Regional Veterans Court is to:

  • Address the underlying issues that have resulted in the veteran being referred to the criminal justice system
  • Provide a courtroom environment that is supportive and respectful of the veteran and the victim (if any), and conducive to reaching a successful outcome in every case
  • Strive to increase public safety through a collaborative, team-based approach that includes the veteran and incorporates individualized treatment plans, close monitoring, and creative approaches to resolve difficult issues

RVC Program brochure

RVC Team

Regional Veterans Court consists of a team of professionals who have specialized training and experience with mental health issues and therapeutic courts. They meet regularly to ensure that RVC functions at its highest possible level.  The team consists of:

  • Judge
  • Defense Attorneys
  • Defense Mitigation Specialists
  • Prosecutors
  • Victim Advocate
  • Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists
  • Probation Mental Health Specialists
  • Public Health Court Clinicians
  • Community Support Specialist
  • RVC Mentor Coordinator
  • Program Management

Eligibility criteria

  • The charge(s) are being prosecuted by King County or a municipality within King County
  • The veteran meets diagnostic criteria for a behavioral health disorder that could be treated through VA Health Care Services
  • Appropriate services are available through the VA and the veteran is eligible for those services
  • The veteran demonstrates a willingness and ability to engage in treatment and probation and to abide by court conditions

Active combat duty not needed for RVC

Although some veterans treatment courts only work with veterans who have been in combat, King County Regional Veterans Court is open to any veteran who qualifies for VA Health Administration services.

Discharge status needed for VA eligibility

Refer to the VA eligibility for healthcare webpage to determine if you are eligible for VA Healthcare services.

Behavioral health disorders treated through VA Healthcare Services

VA Puget Sound offers treatment for most behavioral health conditions, including PTSD, depression, and substance use disorders. For a comprehensive list, visit the VA Puget Sound healthcare webpage.

Case referral to RVC

Felony and municipal court cases

If the veteran is charged with a felony, or the case is pending in a King County municipal court, the prosecutor currently assigned to the case must make the referral. Felony cases and city cases can only be referred before final disposition.

  • City prosecutors must use the RVC City Referral Form.
  • Law enforcement and other interested parties may contact the King County Prosecutor’s Office at for more information on initiating a referral to RVC.

Misdemeanor cases

If the veteran is charged with a misdemeanor and the case is being prosecuted by the King County Prosecutor’s Office, anyone–including defense counsel–can refer the case to RVC.  These cases may be referred at any stage of the proceedings, from pre-filing to post-sentencing.  Referrals are typically made in court at the time that the veteran status is identified, simply by asking the currently assigned judge to set an RVC courtesy hearing.

After referral

Veterans appear in court one or more times to meet with the RVC team and to screen for program eligibility. During this time, the veteran will be asked to sign one or more releases of information, so that the RVC Clinicians can review records related to the veteran's current or prior treatment. The veteran may be required to establish his or her military discharge status in order to show eligibility for VA services. Defense counsel may also be asked to provide supplemental information about the veteran’s needs.

If the veteran is eligible for RVC and is amenable to the program requirements, the Court Clinician will draft an individualized treatment plan specific to the veteran's needs.

In order to opt in to RVC, the veteran must enter a case disposition. Depending upon the nature and severity of the charge(s), this may be a stipulated order of continuance, other diversion agreement, or a guilty plea.

Expectations of participants

Every treatment plan is unique, but typical conditions of supervision include that the veteran must:

  • Comply with conditions of treatment and up to 24 months of supervision
  • Be actively engaged in mental health treatment and/or a chemical dependency program while participating in court
  • Take prescribed medications, as directed
  • Maintain court-approved clean and sober housing and follow all housing rules (the RVC team can often assist with housing placements)
  • Submit to urinalysis, as directed
  • Commit no new law violations and may not possess weapons
  • Report to a Probation Mental Health Court Specialist as directed by the Judge
  • Return to court for reviews on a regular basis, initially weekly and then as ordered by the Judge

RVC Mentor Program

No one fights alone – mentors answer the call!

RVC participants

Learn how a mentor can help you to:

  • Navigate the judicial process
  • Overcome challenges in re-adjusting to civilian life

Veterans Court mentors know what it is like to be in your boots, and can offer help tailored to your individual needs

Mentor flyer for RVC participants

Mentor volunteers needed

Veterans – You can make a difference in a vet's life by volunteering as a Veterans Court mentor.

  • Time commitment flexible
  • Support provided to mentors

Flyer for RVC mentors

More information

Terrell Carrington, King County District Court RVC Mentor Program Coordinator