Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Courts

Serving the Citizens of Brevard and Seminole Counties

Veterans Treatment Drug Court

The mission of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Courts Veterans Treatment Drug Court is to To help men and women who have served, or are serving, in our armed forces, as a U.S. Department of Defense contractor, or former military member of a foreign allied country to reclaim their lives by providing access to mental health, substance abuse and other types of treatment as an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution. The program includes extensive supervision, monitoring and support to veterans while protecting public safety.

Veteran’s Court provides an inter-agency, collaborative, non-adversarial therapeutic justice program for Veterans in the criminal justice system who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma, mental health and substance abuse symptoms as a result of having served in a combat theater and aims to regain their wholeness within the country they have defended.

Brevard County's
Problem-Solving Courts Manager:

Jean Bandish
2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
Viera, Florida 32940
Office: (321) 617-7375

Seminole County's
Problem-Solving Courts Manager
Marissa Gore
101 Eslinger Way
Sanford, Florida 32773
Office: (407) 665.4966

Brevard County Veteran's Treatment Court


To qualify for entry into Veterans’ Treatment Court, an applicant must have served in the military or been a Department of Defense Contractor who has either

  1. substance abuse and/or a
  2. mental health and/or a
  3. traumatic brain injury related to their service.

The applicant must also not be charged with a felony excluded by Florida Statute 948.06(8)(c).


A hearing is held to determine if an applicant meets the criteria. During that hearing, it is the duty of the State Attorney’s Office to decide whether an applicant is first eligible under the criteria and if then they are eligible whether they should be admitted. The State Attorney’s Office must weigh multiple factors, including but not limited to, the input of the victim, the input from the arresting agency, the input from the Veterans’ Treatment Court Judge, prior criminal history, the nature of the crime, service record, and likelihood of success in Veterans’ Treatment Court.

“C.U.T.” – An Important Acronym

            Communication ensures participants are taking steps to improve themselves.

            Urinalysis ensures that participants are maintaining sobriety.

            Treatment ensures that participants are doing the work to improve themselves.

“C.U.T.” – An Important Acronym

“C.U.T.” – An Important Acronym

            Communication ensures participants are taking steps to improve themselves.

            Urinalysis ensures that participants are maintaining sobriety.

            Treatment ensures that participants are doing the work to improve themselves.


Veterans’ Treatment Court is a voluntary program, and no participant has a right to be admitted into the program. If an applicant is accepted, they will be asked to complete a mental health evaluation, a substance abuse evaluation, complete any and all treatment recommended, attend and complete any classes ordered by the Court, be screened for drugs and alcohol to ensure sobriety, maintain regular contact with their assigned mentor, follow all of the instructions of their probation officer, and follow all orders from the Court.

            There are many expectations placed on participants and it is important to read the VETERANS TREATMENT COURT HANDBOOK to understand all of them well. It will be important for participants to refer to the handbook often to understand their obligations. You will also be able to ask your mentor any follow-up questions.

            Mentors are a vital part of Veterans’ Treatment Court.  Your assigned mentor is your peer and is there to help you succeed in your journey in the program. Many of our participants have suffered significant trauma during their service to our country and it helps to have someone to talk to that can understand what you’ve gone through. Our mentors are all volunteers from the community who care about their mentee’s success and go above and beyond to serve our participants.

            There are three phases to Veterans’ Treatment Court: (1) Assessment and Stabilization, (2) Treatment, and (3) Aftercare. Each phase has its own criteria to be eligible to advance to the next phase and the Veterans’ Treatment Court Team will determine, after a participant meets the criteria, whether the participant is ready to move towards the next phase.

            Each participant’s journey will be vastly different, even if they start the program on the same day. Some participants will need additional classes and treatment, based on their needs, and that may extend their duration in the program. Many participants graduate after a year and while some participants graduate later, there are no set dates because treatment is never about finishing fast, it is about finishing successfully.


For additional information, please contact:

Jean Bandish – Problem-Solving Courts Manager
The Moore Justice Center
2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, 2nd Floor
Viera, Florida 32940
(321) 617-7375 
Email: Jean.Bandish@flcourts18.org

Seminole County Veteran's Treatment Court


Seminole County established our pilot Veterans Treatment Court in 2012 with Seminole County Judge John L. Woodard, III presiding. The program was started to quickly identify all Veterans involved in the criminal justice system and divert eligible cases to a non-adversarial treatment-based system with the goal of restoring their good standing in the community and dismissing their criminal cases.


  • Promote public safety.
  • Reduce criminal recidivism and its associated costs to the citizens of Seminole County.
  • Assist and support criminal justice involved Veterans through a coordinated system of court appearances, treatment, community supervision and mentoring to ensure compliance with treatment and other court ordered conditions.
  • Integrate community based and Veteran’s Administration treatment programs for our Veterans.
  • Ensure all Veterans’ benefits and services are fully accessible by our Veterans.
  • Assist our Veterans in restoring core military values into their daily routine.


The Veteran must have served in the United States Armed Forces and be eligible to receive services through the Veteran’s Administration.

  • Most non-violent and non-traffic related third degree felony and misdemeanor cases are eligible for admission into Veteran’s Court.
  • All Victims must agree to resolution of a case through Veterans’ Court.
  • All restitution due must be paid during the period of Veteran’s participation in Veteran’s Court unless waived by the Victim.
  • Upon agreement of the State Attorney and Victim(s), Domestic Violence cases may be eligible for the program. If accepted, all previously imposed conditions of bond will remain in effect as part of the program.
  • Upon agreement of the State Attorney and Officer(s) Battery upon a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting With Violence and Resisting Without Violence may be eligible for the program.
  • Upon agreement of the State Attorney, other non-traffic charges may be considered for acceptance.
  • Traffic offenses, including DUI, are eligible. Minor misdemeanor (DUI) traffic offenses arising from the same incident will not disqualify a Veteran from participation in the program on the primary non-traffic charge(s).
  • Drug charges involving the distribution, sale or delivery of controlled substances are not eligible.
  • Veterans with prior convictions for sale or delivery of controlled substances, violent felonies or more than one violent misdemeanor are not eligible.

MENTOR PROGRAM (Seminole Only)

Many returning Veterans suffer from not only physical injuries, but also the mental scars of war including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression and substance abuse. Many times these factors are the primary reason our Veterans become involved in the criminal justice system. Local Veterans have volunteered to help their peers through the Veterans’ Court process by becoming mentors.


The Seminole County Veterans Treatment Court Mentor Program provides peer-to-peer confidential support and assistance by Veterans to our criminal justice system involved Veterans. Our mentors will help our Veterans readjust to civilian life, introduce them to various Veterans’ organizations, help them to connect with treatment providers, and assist them in navigating the VA system.


Participants are recommended for graduation when they have met all Veterans Treatment Court requirements. The program team will meet to consider the merits of the recommendation to graduate and must agree that the participant has sufficiently integrated the necessary information to support long-term recovery. Graduation requests will be tentatively approved pending the adherence to Veterans Treatment Court requirements through the date and time of the graduation ceremony including the payment of all required treatment court fees and restitution, if any. Veterans entering the program are required to enter a plea and their sentences are deferred until the completion of the program. Upon entering the program each individual is placed under the supervision of the Seminole County Probation Office in order to monitor them while in the program. Once completion has taken place, the plea is withdrawn and the charges are Nolle Prossed by the State Attorney, which states that they are essentially, dismissed.


All Veterans Treatment Court participants are encouraged to attend and the graduation ceremony is open to the public. The graduates are invited to speak about their Veterans Treatment Court experience and to offer encouragement to those in attendance. Certificates of Completion or other tokens of appreciation may be handed out during the ceremony.


For additional information, please contact:

Jneen Baker-Rice
Problem-Solving Courts Manager
Seminole County, Florida
101 Eslinger Way
Sanford, Florida 32773
(407) 665.4966
Email: Marissa.Gore@flcourts18.org

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