The La Crosse Area Veterans Court (LAVC) Program was established in 2010 to address the needs of veterans, especially combat veterans, in the court system. Veterans often have undiagnosed significant behavioral health problems related to their service. Veterans are often unable to effectively address these problems, resulting in them self-medicating with alcohol or drugs to alleviate their symptoms. Due to the stigma Veterans develop while in the military concerning their seeking help for behavioral health problems, they rarely admit, much less will even consider, that they have a behavioral health issue. Further, Veterans are often either reluctant or they refuse to seek assistance from behavioral health professionals available to them through the Veterans Administration. Many Veterans, therefore, have concluded their criminal cases without having addressed, in any way, the behavioral health issues they developed as a result of their military service and which may have been the basis for their offenses. These Veterans then pose a high risk to reoffend. Veterans who do reoffend often receive prison sentences as a result. The LAVC has a network of Veteran Mentors working in the La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program (LAVMP) who seek out and assist Veterans in need of help in identifying, addressing, and maintaining their behavioral health so that they may avoid reoffending in the future.
Referral to LAVC
Veterans in the court system wishing to utilize the services of a trained Veterans Mentor, or who are interested in applying to the LAVC for the support a treatment court can provide after resolution of their charges, should review the referral process and the LAVC-LAVMP Policy & Procedures Manual available through this website. Additional information is also available at LAVMP It is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation tasked with fundraising, recruitment of Veterans to become trained mentors, training of Veteran Mentors, and assigning trained Veteran Mentors to work with Veterans in the legal system.
Veterans with a non-punitive discharge from military service who wish to assist Veterans suffering from behavioral health problems related to their military service by becoming a trained Veteran Mentor should contact the Executive Director of the LAVMP. Volunteer Veteran Mentors are needed in all areas serviced by LAVC and LAVMP.
LAVC and LAVMP currently provide assistance to Veterans in La Crosse, Trempealeau, Jackson, Monroe, and Vernon Counties in Wisconsin, and in Houston and Winona Counties in Minnesota. Veterans outside these counties seeking the assistance of LAVC and/or LAVMP will be considered on a case-by-case basis.