Veterans charged with nonviolent crimes may have a new option available only to them. While specific criteria has yet to be established to determine those who will qualify, judges and prosecutors will work together to single out veteran defendants they believe can change their behavior given treatment. The veterans’ court will work closely with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to ensure fair treatment of veterans is put into the program.
The veterans’ court’s treatment would focus on drug and alcohol addiction, various mental health issues, illnesses, service-related injuries and may even include veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Ultimately, the goal of the veterans’ court is to keep veterans charged with low-level felonies and misdemeanors out of the criminal justice system and into society as non-criminal, functioning members. Whether the veterans’ court comes to fruition will depend on how many veterans are in need of help; this is currently being studied.