VA chief touting veteran courts at DC conference

WASHINGTON (AP) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is the featured speaker at a national conference in Washington on courts that stress treatment over punishment for law-breaking vets.

The conference began Monday and continues through Wednesday. It is organized by the nonprofit National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

The group says 130 veteran treatment courts have been established around the country since 2008.

They involve cooperation and collaboration with drug and mental-health treatment organizations.

The courts are for veterans who have received a clinical diagnosis of a substance abuse problem or a mental health disorder.

The association says the number of veterans being treated for such problems has increased 38 percent since 2004.

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