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The Salute Act

by Michael Petruzzelli, Policy Associate, National Council for Behavioral Health, 2.19.15

Bipartisan Group Introduces Veterans’ Treatment Courts Legislation in the House

New legislation introduced in the House by both parties would authorize veterans’ treatment courts, helping servicemen and women with addictions or other mental health needs receive specialized care when accused of certain nonviolent crimes. The SALUTE Act (Servicemember Assistance for Lawful Understanding, Treatment and Education) would provide vital guidance to the Justice Department on veterans’ treatment courts funding and will help ensure these programs are being efficiently implemented.

“One in five veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will experience a stress-related mental illness, and many others will fall victim to drug and alcohol abuse,” said Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA). “We owe it to these veterans to ensure they get the care and treatment they earned for serving our nation. And we can help nonviolent offenders struggling with addiction or other crises avoid becoming entrapped in the criminal justice system, keeping them from getting the care they need.”

In addition to Representative Meehan, the following representatives from both parties supported this legislation:
   Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
   Ryan Costello (R-PA)
   Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
   Larry Buschon (R-IN)
   John Carney (D-DE)
   Paul Tonko (D-NY)
   Barbara Comstock (R-VA)
   Grace Napolitano (D-CA)

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