Justice Involved Veterans Task Force
Six Veterans Tracks exist in New Hampshire District Courts today and serve to emphasize Veterans’ military values and strive to hold participants accountable for their behavior while also encouraging the individual to engage in behavioral health treatment.
What is a Veterans Track?
A Veterans Track is a “special docket” charged with hearing cases that involve veterans or service members, particularly
those diagnosed with service-related illnesses. The first Veterans’ treatment court was established in 2008 in Buffalo, New York. Today, there are close to 400 Veterans’ courts, tracks or dockets across the country. In NH, we have six.
Wars and military service may take a toll on our men and women in uniform. While most return home strengthened by
their service, the struggle to readjust to life outside the military is not uncommon. Mental health issues are frequently
compounded by substance misuse, family strife, unemployment, and homelessness – and far too often lead to incarceration.
Statewide Leadership & Planning
In 2013, the NH Justice Involved Veterans (JIV) Task Force was created to serve justice-involved Veterans by promoting and supporting the development of Veteran-centered programs throughout the state.
Veterans Tracks Across the State
In 2014, the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division established NH’s first Veterans Track. Today, there are a total of
six Veterans Tracks that have been established in Grafton, Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties. All Veterans Tracks
emphasize veterans’ military values and strive to hold participants accountable for their behavior while also encouraging
the individual to engage in behavioral health treatment.
"The people we ran into [in the justice involved court system] were so compassionate, so respectful. They were so good to
us, it really was amazing. If you help people and give them the tools and resources, they can get better. If you help these
Veterans, they are less likely to end up in the criminal justice system. I also think it's the right thing to do. I got my
husband back. My children got their father back. We were ridiculously lucky - it was a miracle".
Military Spouse of Graduate – Nashua Veterans Track
Education, Training & Outreach
In 2015, the NH JIV Task Force organized the State’s first Veterans Track Conference, funded by the NH Department of
Health and Human Services (DHHS) and engaged 300+ attendees in support of serving justice-involved Veterans.
Success Across the State
In the last five years, over 100 Veterans have participated and/or are currently participating in the six Veterans Tracks
across the State.
Legislation & Moving Forward
The Governor and Legislature passed HB 652 in 2017, formally establishing a Veterans Track within the court system. This Act went into effect on January 1, 2018 and includes the essential 10 components of a Veterans Track. These 10 components provide the foundation for the successful operation of a NH Veterans Track.
Justice Involved Veterans Task Force
The JIV Task Force consists of multi-disciplinary membership including Veterans, court professionals, mental health and behavioral health professionals, VA professionals, state government representatives and other Veteran advocates.
Meetings of the Full Task Force take place 6x/year (2022: January, March, May, July, September, November) on the 4th Wednesday of the month, 9am-11am. Currently, meetings are held virtually.
For more information on the JIV Task Force or its meetings, please contact either of the following Co-Chairs:
Jill O’Neill, BS
NH Lawyers Assistance Program
Work Cell: (603) 491-0282
Sheena Bice, LCMHC, MLADC, CSOTS
VFR HealthCare, LLC