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H.R. 2026 (112th): SERV Act

The text of the bill below is as of May 26, 2011 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. R. 2026


May 26, 2011

(for himself, Mr. Keating, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Boren, Mr. Luján, Mr. Courtney, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Higgins, and Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To provide grants to establish veteran’s treatment courts.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Services, Education, and Rehabilitation for Veterans Act or the SERV Act.


Veteran’s treatment courts



The Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (referred to in this Act as the Director) shall delegate the authority to administer the program and other such activities necessary to carry out this Act to the Department of Justice.



The Attorney General may make grants to States, State courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments acting directly or through agreements with other public or private entities, for the purpose of developing, implementing, or enhancing veteran’s treatment courts or expanding operational drug courts to serve veterans.



Grants under this Act shall be made to veteran’s treatment courts and drug courts serving veterans that effectively integrate substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, mandatory drug testing, sanctions and incentives, and transitional services, in a judicially supervised court setting with jurisdiction over nonviolent, substance-abusing offenders that have served in the United States military.


Grant Authority

The Attorney General may make grants to States, State courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments, acting directly or through agreements with other public or private entities, for programs that involve—


continuing judicial supervision over offenders with substance abuse or mental health problems who are not violent offenders and have served in the United States military; and


the integrated administration of other sanctions and services, which shall include—


mandatory periodic testing for the use of controlled substances or other addictive substances during any period of supervised release or probation for each participant;


substance abuse and mental health treatment (such as treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder) for each participant;


diversion, probation, or other supervised release involving the possibility of prosecution, confinement, or incarceration based on noncompliance with program requirements or failure to show satisfactory progress; and


programmatic, offender management, and aftercare services such as relapse prevention, health care, education, vocational training, job placement, housing placement, and child care or other family support services for each participant who requires such services.




In general

To request a grant under this Act, a State, State court, local court, unit of local government, or Indian tribal government shall submit an application to the Attorney General in such form and containing such information as the Attorney General may reasonably require.



In addition to any other requirements that may be specified by the Attorney General, an application for a grant under this Act shall—


include a long-term strategy and detailed implementation plan;


explain the applicant's inability to fund the program adequately without Federal assistance;


certify that the Federal support provided will be used to supplement, and not supplant, State, Indian tribal, and local sources of funding that would otherwise be available;


identify related governmental or community initiatives which complement or will be coordinated with the proposal;


certify that there has been appropriate consultation with all affected agencies, specifically the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services, and that there will be appropriate coordination with all affected agencies in the implementation of the program;


certify that participating offenders will be supervised by 1 or more designated judges with responsibility for the veteran’s treatment court program;


specify plans for obtaining necessary support and continuing the proposed program following the conclusion of Federal support; and


describe the methodology that will be used in evaluating the program.



Each such application shall contain the certification that the program for which the grant is requested shall meet each of the requirements of this Act.


Federal share

The Federal share of a grant made under this Act may not exceed 75 percent of the total costs of the program described in the application submitted under section 4 for the fiscal year for which the program receives assistance under this Act, unless the Attorney General waives, wholly or in part, the requirement of a matching contribution under this section. In-kind contributions may constitute a portion of the non-Federal share of a grant.


Reports and evaluations


Report to Attorney General and the Director

For each fiscal year, each recipient of a grant under this Act during that fiscal year shall submit to the Attorney General, the Director, and the Secretary for Veterans Affairs a report regarding the effectiveness of activities carried out using that grant. Each report shall include an evaluation in such form and containing such information as the Attorney General may reasonably require. The Attorney General shall specify the dates on which such reports shall be submitted.


Report to Congress

The Director, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall submit a yearly report on the effectiveness on the activities carried out under this Act to the House and Senate Committees on the Judiciary and the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs.



In this Act:



The term veteran means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.


Veteran’s treatment court

The term veteran’s treatment court means a program specifically for veterans that meets the drug court criteria established by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Public Law 103–322).


Violent offender

The term violent offender means a person who—


is charged with or convicted of an offense, during the course of which offense or conduct—


the person carried, possessed, or used a firearm or dangerous weapon;


there occurred the death of or serious bodily injury to any person; or


there occurred the use of force against the person of another, without regard to whether any of the circumstances described in clause (i) or (ii) is an element of the offense or conduct of which or for which the person is charged or convicted; or


has 1 or more prior convictions for a felony crime of violence involving the use or attempted use of force against a person with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm.





The Attorney General shall consult with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and any other appropriate officials in carrying out this Act.


Regulatory authority


In general

The Attorney General may issue regulations and guidelines necessary to carry out this Act.


Participation limits

In addition to the general authority provided under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall—


issue regulations and guidelines to ensure that programs authorized in this Act do not permit participation by violent offenders; and


immediately suspend funding for any grant under this part, pending compliance, if the Attorney General finds that violent offenders are participating in any program funded under this part.


Geographic distribution

The Attorney General shall ensure that, to the extent practicable, an equitable geographic distribution of grant awards is made under this Act.


Technical assistance, training, and evaluation


Technical assistance and training

The Attorney General may provide technical assistance and training in furtherance of the purposes of this Act.



The Attorney General may provide for evaluations in furtherance of the purposes of this Act.


Funding for the national drug court institute


Comprehensive, national training and technical assistance for drug courts

The National Drug Court Institute in Alexandria, Virginia, shall—


conduct national, comprehensive training programs for State and local communities for the purpose of improving the professional skills of drug court practitioners and enhancing the ability of State and local communities to expand drug courts to reach all addicted citizens in need of their resources; and


provide national, comprehensive Technical Assistance to adult, juvenile and family dependency drug courts including a combination of information gathering, needs assessment, cultural proficiency, analysis, problem solving, action planning, referral and follow-up.


Ancillary projects

The National Drug Court Institute in Alexandria, Virginia, shall complete ancillary programs designed to facilitate the expansion and improvement of drug courts nationwide including—


a Judicial Task Force to develop a transition plan for new drug court judges;


a resource center to maintain and distribute drug court evaluations reviewed in the National Drug Court Institute Review, and to request new research and evaluations for the drug court field;


publishing annually the National Drug Court Institute Review to provide research, analysis, and commentary of importance to the drug court field; and


searching drug court literature and identify, reprint, and disseminate important and relevant scholarship to the drug court field.


Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.


Authorization of appropriations

Except for section 10, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Director such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.