Keywords: veterans, specialty court
Veterans Courts –
Community Courts Serving Those Who Served
When many military vets return from combat, its not uncommon for them to have a hard time coping with the horrific scenes of war that they may have experienced, and as such some vets may suffer from the effects of various troubles such as PTSD, or perhaps they suffered a traumatic brain injury, or they could be dealing with depression. These factors may also cause a veteran to attempt self-soothing or self-medicating, which could cause them to be suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness complications, and the like. When these things all come together, some veterans (or even active duty service members) increase the likelihood that they will act out or run across the police, and when this happens they potentially can be charged with felony or misdemeanor offenses. Veterans Courts offer the chance to live a sober, stable, and productive life, while a...
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...e that brings a veteran before the court, but also to assist with the traumatic issues and substance abuse issues that may have contributed to the veteran’s criminal behavior in the first place. Emphasis on accountability, personal responsibility, and restoration of the honor that comes with having served in the US Military are fundamental to both programs, however, San Diego County’s program takes this a step further by allowing the Judge to have charges expunged when treatment is completed. This additional step of having the charges for program participants who complete the course is under consideration in several states, including Illinois, but has not yet been made law. There is some concern that expunging the charges exposed may act as a disincentive to avoiding future behaviors that could return the veteran to the courtroom, and as such, is still being debated.
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