Military Socialization: A Motivating Factor for Seeking Treatment in a Veterans’ Treatment Court

Eileen M. Ahlin, Anne S. Douds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The veterans’ treatment court movement is just beyond the nascent period, and given the rapid proliferation of these courts in recent years it is imperative that the scientific community understand their operational procedures and assess whether they are meeting a unique need beyond those addressed by other problem-solving courts. This paper provides an in-depth examination of veteran culture and how it helps to distinguish veterans’ treatment courts from other courts that focus on similar populations (e.g., drug, DWI, and mental health courts). Using in-depth semi-structured interviews and focus group data collected from veteran participants, veteran mentors, and court team members in Pennsylvania, we employ content analysis to explore the veteran culture as a motivator for participants to enroll in a veterans’ treatment court and engage with others throughout participation in treatment. The results of this exploratory study suggest that a shared culture serves to motivate justice-involved veterans to seek out the veterans’ treatment court over other treatment options and remain engaged in this problem-solving court, while inspiring a sense of obligation to do well in treatment for them and their fellow veterans. The shared experiences of military service and across-the-board support for fellow service members suggest that the veterans’ treatment court creates a unique environment for pursuing treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Criminal Justice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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