The Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court was established in January 2008 and diverts eligible veteran-defendants with substance dependency and/or mental illness, who are charged with felony or misdemeanor non-violent criminal offense, to a specialized criminal court docket. Veterans are identified through evidence-based screening and assessments. They voluntarily participate in a judicially supervised treatment plan that a team of court staff, veteran health care professionals, veteran peer mentors, health care professionals and mental health professionals develop with the veteran.
The treatment court team, the Buffalo Veteran Mentor Group (a separate nonprofit organization), and a coalition of community health care providers are all vital to the success of the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court. The Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court has adopted, with slight modifications, the essential tenants as described by the U.S. Department of Justice publication, Defining Drug Court
Unique aspects of a veterans treatment court include the following:
- Court entirely of veterans;
- Veterans health care worker(s) present in court;
- Volunteer veteran mentors (a separate nonprofit organization);
- Therapeutic environment
- Hybrid drug & mental health court.
Contact Jack O’Connor :
Buffalo Veterans Mentor Group
47 Warren Ave.
Kenmore, NY 14217
BUFFALO VETERANS MENTOR GROUP
(A 501(c)(6) NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION)
The Peter Reibel Veteran Mentor Group (“the organization”) exists in fulfillment of our promise that no veteran will be left behind. To that end, the organization will work to ensure that all veterans who appear as defendants in the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court are mentored and treated with the respect and dedication that they have rightly earned in the service of our nation.
- All Mentors must be veterans. A veteran is defined as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States of America who served during time of armed conflict. The Armed Forces shall include: U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, as well as all Reserve and National Guard contingent forces.
- All veterans who meet the criteria set forth herein and who are accepted as Veteran Mentors shall serve in the organization. No distinction shall be drawn between veterans who served in a combat theater and non-combat veterans for the purpose of serving as Veteran Mentors.
- All veterans who wish to be considered for membership in this organization shall make application. The Officers of the organization shall determine whether each candidate meets the qualifications as established by the Board of Directors of the organization. Due consideration shall be afforded to each candidate’s military service, volunteer work involving veteran and military causes, good standing in the local community, clean criminal record, and other factors to be determined by the Board of Directors.
- Mentors shall serve at the pleasure of the Officers of the organization. There shall not be a specified term of service in the organization. Mentors can be removed by action taken by one or more Officers of the organization.
- Veterans who have previously been defendants in the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court, and who have satisfactorily complied with all conditions specified by such Court, shall not be excluded from consideration for membership as a Mentor in the organization.
- The number of Mentors shall be fixed only when such number is specified by the President with the consent of the Board of Directors. Mentor assignments shall be made by the Officers of the organization.
- An Officer in the organization is defined as a Veteran Mentor appointed by the Board of Directors and/or the President to hold administrative and supervisory details over the organization.
- The Officers of the organization shall include:
- The President (also known as “The Coordinator”);
- The Vice President (also known as “The Deputy Coordinator”);
- The Treasurer; and
- Three or more Team Captains;
- The President, Vice President and Treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. There shall not be a specified term of service for such Officers. The Board of Directors retains the right to dismiss the President, Vice President or Treasurer with or without cause.
- The President shall appoint Team Captains as the President shall see fit. Team Captains serve at the pleasure of the President and may be removed by the President at any time, with or without cause. Team Captains may also be dismissed by the Board of Directors at any time, with or without cause.
- The President shall administer and supervise the organization as he or she sees fit. At all times, the President shall act in the best interests of the organization and of the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court. The President shall closely coordinate major efforts of the organization with the judges and court staff of the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court. The President shall supervise all employees and volunteers in the organization. The President shall be a veteran.
- The Vice President shall assist the President in the administration and supervision of the organization. He or she shall also perform additional duties as the President shall from time to time assign. The Vice President shall act in place and stead of the President if the President shall become incapacitated or otherwise unable to perform the duties of such office. Upon delegation by the President, the Vice President shall act as President or Coordinator when the President is out of town or otherwise unable to come to Court, or to administer or supervise the running of the organization. The Vice President shall be a veteran.
- The Treasurer shall administer the funds and accounting of the organization. The Board of Directors shall appoint a suitable candidate who is a veteran to such office. The Treasurer should have a background in accounting or bookkeeping sufficient to ensure a proper administration of the duties of such office.
- Team Captains shall be in charge of Veteran Mentor teams in Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court. Team Captains shall also perform other duties as assigned by the President or Vice President.
- There shall be no restriction upon a Team Captain concurrently serving as Treasurer. Likewise, there shall be no restriction upon the Vice President concurrently serving as Treasurer. However, the President shall not currently serve as Treasurer.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- The Board of Directors shall have oversight of the Officers and the organization as a whole.
- The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, Vice President, and seven other individuals elected by the members of the organization. These nine Board Members shall have voting privileges.
- The Treasurer shall be present at each meeting to provide a report of the organization’s finances and accounting. The Treasurer shall not be a voting Member of the Board. If the Treasurer is unable to be present at a Board meeting, he or she shall provide a written report which shall be appended to the record of such meeting.
- The seven elected Board Members shall be comprised of upstanding members of the local community, as well as current and former Mentors.
- With the exception of the President and Vice President, the Members of the Board shall serve for a term of three (3) years. Such board members shall be eligible for reelection to a consecutive term of office as a Board Member.
- The elected Board Members need not be veterans.
- The Board of Directors shall meet quarterly (four meetings per annum). Prior to each meeting, the President shall set forth an agenda. However, any Board Member may propose items for inclusion in the agenda.
- The President shall appoint a Secretary from among the Board members to record the events transpiring at each Board meeting.
- For the purposes of Board meetings, a quorum shall exist if five (5) or more Board Members are present and voting.
- The Board of Electors shall appoint a Legal Counsel to the organization. The Legal Counsel shall be an attorney duly admitted to practice law in the State of New York. Although not required, it is preferred that the Legal Counsel be a veteran. The Legal Counsel shall attend all meetings of the Board of Directors, and shall from time to time provide legal opinions to the Board and Officers. The Legal Counsel shall not be a voting member of the Board. The Legal Counsel shall from time to time perform legal services for the Board, if within the Counsel’s area of legal expertise and competence. The Legal Counsel may not be compensated for such services without the express approval of the Board of Directors. There is no provision herein which shall prevent the Legal Counsel from serving concurrently as a Mentor or Officer.
TRAINING OF MENTORS
- The Officers of the organization shall ensure that all Mentors are properly trained to render assistance to defendants in Buffalo Veteran Treatment Court. To this end, the Officers shall ensure that adequate and updated training materials are provided to all Mentors on a regular basis.
- The President may from time to time appoint one or more trainers to ensure that all Mentors are properly trained.
- The President shall schedule and ensure that training sessions for all members take place at least one (1) time per annum.
- The President shall ensure that a proper training program for newly-admitted Mentors is properly put in place and administered. He may delegate this function to one or more of the Officers of the organization.
- The President and Legal Counsel shall ensure that the organization purchases and keeps in force a policy of liability insurance which provides coverage to Mentors, Officers, Board Members, employees and volunteers when in the course of their duties on behalf of the organization.
- These bylaws may be amended upon a vote of a majority of the Board of Directors.
- These bylaws shall be initially ratified by a majority vote of the membership of the organization.
Click to Download 501c3 2013
Attachment for IRS Form 1023 Application for Recognition of Exemption
under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for Buffalo Veterans Mentor Group, Inc.