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Congresswoman Barbara Comstock

Representing the 10th District of Virginia

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Comstock Joins Meehan Bill That Helps Vets Overcome Addiction, PTSD

January 30, 2015
Press Release
SALUTE Act authorizes federal funds for vets’ treatment courts

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) joined as an original co-sponsor to Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-07) legislation called Servicemember Assistance for Lawful Understanding, Treatment and Education (SALUTE) Act. The legislation provides yearly federal funding for veterans’ treatment courts. Veterans’ treatment courts help veterans coping with addiction and other mental disorders receive specialized care when accused of certain non-violent crimes.

Meehan’s legislation was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of seven additional lawmakers. He was joined by Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Ryan Costello (PA-6), Chaka Fattah (PA-2), Larry Buschon (IN-08), John Carney (DE-AL), Barbara Comstock (VA-10), Paul Tonko (NY-20) & Grace Napolitano (CA-32).

“Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line each and every day so we can stay safe,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock.  “It is incumbent on the nation to support those who sacrificed for us and that is what the SALUTE Act is all about.  Veterans’ Treatment Courts will help veterans who have faced challenges get back on their feet so they can thrive in society.”

“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 Meehan. “We owe it to these veterans to ensure they get the care and treatment they earned for serving our nation. And we can help non-violent offenders struggling with addiction or other crises avoid becoming entrapped in the criminal justice system, keeping them from getting the care they need.”

“More than 200 of these courts have been set up across the nation, and we’re already seeing remarkable success and lower recidivism rates,” Meehan said. “We’ve had success in securing federal funding for vets’ courts in recent years, through appropriations. But these programs still need formal authorization to create a permanent funding stream. The SALUTE Act gives the Justice Department important guidance on veterans’ treatment courts funding and will help make sure these programs are being implemented effectively.”