Bexar County specialty courts face unique COVID-19 challenges

Veterans Treatment Court includes virtual counseling sessions

SAN ANTONIO – The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operation of courts in Bexar County is perhaps felt strongest by the so-called “specialty courts,” which are unique since participants require specialized attention and treatment options.

Among the specialty courts are two Veterans Treatment Courts, where State District Judge Jefferson Moore presides.

“Operating Veterans Treatment Courts is a struggle,” Moore said Tuesday.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) considerations almost always come into play since the medical attention veterans receive is often part of the equation.

“Because of that, we do a lot of our treatments -- staffing and treatment meetings -- with participants without going on YouTube live,” Moore said.

Moore said that for the staff, that means a heavier workload, from arranging meetings to scheduling counseling sessions.

“It takes a lot of work to manage those things with just phone calls and video calls,” he said.

Returning to pre-pandemic proceedings cannot come soon enough, Moore said.

“We do the best we can despite the adversities that we face by trying to do this by virtual videos, virtual meetings,” he said.

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