Solicitor Duffie Stone presents former Army Spc. German Batista a certificate of completion from the Veterans Treatment Court on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, as Judge Erin Dean looks on.
BEAUFORT, SC (Sept.20, 2016) — The first person graduated today from Veterans Treatment Court.
Former Army Spc. German Batista, 52, of Hilton Head Island, successfully completed the treatment court program over the course of 10 months.
The Veterans Treatment Court assists combat veterans who have had brushes with the criminal justice system due to substance abuse and/or a mental health disorder. The three-phase program provides the treatment and structure they need to resume productive lives.
Batista was recommended for this program following a drug possession charge. He underwent treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and drug and alcohol counseling. He regularly appeared before a judge and underwent random drug screenings.
Batista was born in Panama and became a permanent U.S. resident in 1986. Two years later, Batista enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a tactical helicopter repairman on Black Hawks. In 1991, Batista stepped on an IED while traveling in a convoy in Iraq. Shrapnel struck his legs, thighs and hands, resulting in lifelong physical and mental problems. He earned a Purple Heart medal and two Bronze Stars for his bravery and combat heroism. He was honorably discharged from the military in 1996.
His treatment team consisted of professionals from the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, the Veterans Administration, Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Department, a volunteer mentor and many others.
Studies have shown that Veterans Treatment Courts work by increasing the quality of life for the veteran and reducing the rate of jail recidivism. Our goal is to serve those who have already served our country.
To learn more about the Veterans Treatment Court, call Program Director Michael Lee at (843) 255-5908 or email [email protected].