Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 190146
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File Number: 190146 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-96-19 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: URGING FOR VETERANS TREATMENT COURT Introduced: 1/22/2019
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 1/23/2019
Agenda Date: 1/23/2019 Agenda Item Number: 11A28
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE VETERANS TREATMENT COURT IN THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
Indexes: URGING
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Daniella Levine Cava, Co-Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Eileen Higgins, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Joe A. Martinez, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
  Xavier L. Suarez, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 1/23/2019 11A28 Adopted P

Office of the Chairperson 1/22/2019 Additions

County Attorney 1/22/2019 Assigned Miguel A. Gonzalez 1/22/2019

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE VETERANS TREATMENT COURT IN THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

BODY
WHEREAS, on May 15, 2012, this Board adopted Ordinance No. 12-37 creating the Military Affairs Board and charging the Military Affairs Board with the responsibility to “[a]dvocate on behalf of military personnel in Miami-Dade County regarding . . . incarceration,” among other things; and
WHEREAS, in furtherance of this mission, the Military Affairs Board, working cooperatively with federal and state partners, initiated and undertook efforts to establish a Veterans Treatment Court in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County (“Veterans Treatment Court”); and
WHEREAS, these federal and state partners included the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Miami Veterans Health Administration; the Eleventh Judicial Circuit; and the South Florida Behavioral Health Network; and
WHEREAS, in 2016, the Veterans Treatment Court was established and, through the date of this resolution, has accepted dozens of veterans for disposition of their criminal charges through the program; and
WHEREAS, additional funding is necessary so that the Veterans Treatment Court continue to offer services to veterans, including by providing the necessary monitoring to assist in the process of rehabilitation and to make any necessary arrangements for housing veterans in need (either as transitional housing or for in-patient treatment); and
WHEREAS, although the Veterans Treatment Court has sought and received funding from partners at all levels of government, including the Florida Legislature, the Veterans Treatment Court remains a program in need of additional resources; and
WHEREAS, the Veterans Treatment Court is nonetheless a promising program; and
WHEREAS, one of the first graduates of the program, a 35-year-old veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse who was charged with fighting a police officer, described the program one that “will help a lot of other veterans”; and
WHEREAS, that veteran is now an engineering student at Miami-Dade College and remains sober; and
WHEREAS, the County has not only invested funding in the Veterans Treatment Court, but has also provided the judicial system with additional tools necessary to ensure the program’s success; and
WHEREAS, for example, the Veterans Treatment Court is modeled after similar courts throughout the nation and endeavors to provide specialized services tailored to meet veterans’ unique needs, including veteran-on-veteran mentoring, all with the objective of assisting veterans encountering the criminal justice system with their healthy reintegration into civilian life, reduced likelihood of recidivism, and receipt of proper mental health care; and
WHEREAS, the approach to ensuring the success of the Veterans Treatment Court is holistic, embracing action by both the Military Affairs Board and this Board, beginning with Resolution No. R-774-14 which this Board adopted on September 3, 2014; and
WHEREAS, Resolution No. R-774-14 resulted in the redesign of the arrest forms used by law enforcement throughout Miami-Dade County to identify veterans at the time of arrest; and
WHEREAS, the Military Affairs Board and this Board also have taken steps to ensure that veterans who are not identified at the time of arrest are identified at the time of booking into the jail, and provided with literature informing them of the benefits available to incarcerated veterans under applicable laws, which this Board adopted on September 3, 2014, through Resolution No. R-773-14; and
WHEREAS, in addition to undertaking efforts to ensure that veterans are identified at the time of arrest or booking, the Military Affairs Board ensured that the Veterans Treatment Court was modeled after the most successful programs in the nation by observing the functioning of those programs and engaging in dialogue with those officials who organize and manage the programs; and
WHEREAS, through these information exchanges, the Military Affairs Board determined that a mentorship program, designed to work hand-in-hand with the Veterans Treatment Court, was crucial to the Veterans Treatment Court’s success and, as such, the Military Affairs Board used its broad network within the military community to recruit, and encourage other entities to recruit, volunteers to serve as veteran mentors; and
WHEREAS, in addition to federal and local efforts, this Board would like to urge the Florida Legislature to continue its support of the Veterans Treatment Court by appropriating additional state funds to the Miami-Dade County Veterans Treatment Court during the 2019 session,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Governor and Florida Legislature to provide funding for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit’s Veterans Treatment Court.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade State Legislative Delegation, and the Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
Section 3. Directs the County’s state lobbyists to advocate for the funding indicated in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to amend the 2019 State Legislative Package to include this item.



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