Office of the State's Attorney - Patrick D. Kenneally

Veterans Track Program

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The selfless and honorable service on the part of current and former members of the United States Armed Forces has and will continue to provide the People of McHenry County with enormous and manifold benefits.  The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office recognizes that military service exposes members to profoundly dangerous and stressful circumstances.  The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office recognizes further that the physical and psychological trauma from such exposure can have lasting effects and contribute to depression, anxiety, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse.  The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office recognizes further that these effects and mental disorders can increase the likelihood of criminality.

What is the Veterans Track Program?

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, in its sole discretion and under certain circumstances, may regard current and former service in the United States Armed Forces as a compelling factor in mitigation when determining negotiated plea offers.  In extending negotiated plea offers to current and former members of the United States Armed Forces, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office may seek to enhance the application of rehabilitative and treatment based sentences and minimize the more punitive forms of criminal redress.  Please note, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office will generally not consider reducing charges in DUI, domestic battery, or sex offense related cases.

Veterans Track Application Process

WILLINGNESS TO PARTICIPATE

A Veteran charged with a criminal offense, should notify his or her attorney of their Veteran status.  If the Veteran is willing to participate in the Veteran Track Program, the information should then be submitted to the prosecuting attorney.

CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE

Once the Veteran, through his or her attorney, informs the prosecuting attorney of their willingness to participate in the program, the State’s Attorney’s Office will tender paperwork including consents to participate, consent to bond modifications, and releases for evaluations and treatment.

PARTICIPATION

If the defendant is accepted into the Veterans Track Program, he or she will follow the procedure as outlined in this pamphlet. The case will remain in the court room in which it was originally assigned.  

VETERAN NON-PARTICIPATION

If the defendant is a Veteran and chooses not to participate or is deemed ineligible, the case will follow the normal process as a criminal case of its type.  There are no appeal hearings for rejection.

TERMINATION

SATISFACTORY

Upon successful completion of all the requirements, the case will be resolved with the mitigated sentence and closure of the case.

UNSATISFACTORY

If the terms of the Veterans Track Program are not completed or the defendant commits a new offense, the State’s Attorney’s Office may seek to terminate the defendant from the Veterans Track Program.  The State’s Attorney’s Office agrees not to use any information exclusively contained in the mental health/substance abuse evaluation or VAC report against the Defendant at hearing or trial.

Veterans Track Program Procedure

Admission to the Program is voluntary on the part of the Veteran and at the sole discretion of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.

  1. Within four weeks of the first court date in a misdemeanor case or arraignment in a felony case, the Defendant acquires a mental health/substance abuse evaluation from an Illinois Department of Human Services approved provider.
  2. Within eight weeks of the first court date in a misdemeanor case or arraignment in a felony case, the Defendant contacts a McHenry County Veterans Assistance Commission caseworker, schedules and attends an interview, and provides the case worker with the substance abuse evaluation.
  3. The VAC will provide the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office with the mental health/substance abuse   evaluation along with its own report.  The VAC report will provide the following:
    a.)  History of Service
    b.)  Current living situation
    c.)  Personal treatment recommendations
    d.) Goals or steps to complete treatment over the term of the sentence
  4. The State’s Attorney’s Office will review the mental health/substance abuse evaluation and VAC report and make an offer it deems appropriate and in accordance with policy.  Please note that if the case cannot be resolved through negotiated plea, the State’s Attorney’s Office agrees not to use any information exclusively contained in the mental health/substance abuse evaluation or VAC report against the Defendant at hearing or trial.