Veterans Courts: Making the Case for the Growing Trend

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Judge Robert Russell discuss the veterans treatment court program. Photo courtesy of the Erie County Veterans Service Agency.

Veterans’ Courts appear to be a growing trend. Currently, Florida lawmakers are considering legislation that set up a system for state circuit courts. Although, some such as Brevard  County have already established a Veterans Treatment Court.

Local criminal courts elsewhere across the U.S. are developing similar, targeted justice systems that get services and support to veterans charged with minor offenses.

One of the first Veterans Court was established by Buffalo, NY Judge Robert Russell with cooperation from the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies.

The Daily Record reports this week on a similar set-up in York County, PA:

The program is similar to Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD, a probationary program that can result in an expunged criminal record. If a veteran offender is approved by the district attorney’s office and the probation department, they’ll meet once a week in a courtroom with Judge Craig Trebilcock.

You can read the full Daily Record story HERE.

The Atlantic makes the case in its December issue, “Why Veterans Should Get Their Own Courts.”  It reports there at least 80 Veterans Courts currently operating.

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