Veterans Courts are Only Part of What’s Needed

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

This isn’t rocket science, if the country had paid attention as we were returning from Vietnam and recognizing what that did to many of our brothers, thousands then, as we tried for decades to push the issues into the public conscious we’d be much more advanced in the understanding of what war and extreme trauma does to the human mind, especially from wars of choice. And it wasn’t only as to our brothers! There also would have been a better understanding as to the civilian populations of these conflicts as well as those anywhere who live through the extreme trauma’s, of many descriptions, that affect individuals in their own lives

AIR DATE: March 3, 2010

Veterans Suspected of Crimes Swap Guilty Pleas for Rehabilitation


TOM BEARDEN: Nic Gray was a sergeant with the 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was part of the Iraq troop surge in February 2007. >>>>>

New veterans court to open in Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s newest specialty court is specifically aimed at military

The criminal court operates Wednesday afternoon at the Criminal Justice Center, and includes a representative of the Veterans Administration to help provide additional services for the men and women who have served their country.

Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCafferty is the driving force behind the court. The veteran and former Philadelphia Police officer says the court offers special treatment for those who have served. >>>>>

Veterans court program applauded

March 02, 2010

Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette: Common Pleas Judge John Zottola, right, testifies on Allegheny County’s experience with a veterans court program before U.S. Sen Arlen Specter’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Downtown on Monday. At left is state Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, who also testified.

Southwestern Pennsylvania is home to more than 300,000 veterans, and Allegheny County has the highest concentration in the state.

So it made sense to start a program for veterans facing legal trouble in Pittsburgh.

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., hosted a congressional field hearing looking at the potential benefits of implementing veterans courts across the state and country. >>>>>

Attorney proposes veterans courts

March 02, 2010

An attorney representing an Iraq War veteran suggested Tuesday that the Cambria County Court consider setting up a veterans court with special programs to assist defendants such as hers.

Lisa Lazzari, chief public defender, asked that all charges – including bank robbery – against John Fletcher be continued while he undergoes a forensic psychiatric exam at the Veterans Justice Outreach program at the Altoona VA Hospital.


Fleming said that any attempt to set up a veterans court here would not be in time to help Fletcher. But the defendant said that he wanted it “for other veterans in the future.”

Fleming previously had entered guilty pleas in several cases, including felony robbery. >>>>>

Helping those who served us

March 03, 2010

We support the concept of setting up a special veterans court system to deal with the needs of those who have seen time in combat.

We do not support softer sentencing for those veterans convicted of violent crimes. But more can be done to address the problems some veterans face.

And we oppose the Veteran Administration’s practice of pulling access to evaluation and therapy for veterans convicted of crimes.

The issue arose locally in connection with the struggles of Iraq war veteran John Fletcher, who is accused of various crimes – from criminal trespass and a bomb threat to bank robbery.


“There is some research that jail is not a solution to what vets are suffering,” Lazzari said. >>>>>

There is a timebomb that’s already started to explode as some of todays Veterans return from not one tour year of duty in not one but two theaters of conflict but multiple tours many having served in both theaters, over and over. There’s nothing wrong with these Veterans if recognized what the stresses of war an the trauma have caused, if they can get the help needed quickly, if they don’t the communities they return to as well as themselves experience the results from that lack of quick intervention. Thankfully there’s a better understanding but because of the decades lost, as this has always been there and not only from wars, it will take decades to help and not condemn, it’s never to late but it must be a priority! And it should be a major part of any counties policies as some attempt to start wars and occupations and not as an absolute last resort when all else fails!

Veterans Courts come to late for some, the greater majority of veterans who find themselves in criminal trouble weren’t criminals prior to nor while serving, but still in time to get them help as opposed to just locking them up and making their issues worse and worse for the communities they return to once time is served. The recognition and help needs to start, for some, while still in the military and others once out, for even some years after they’ve served.

These aren’t the only issues, but it is way long past time that societies of intelligent beings recognize what their actions and policies towards others not only do to themselves but the others around them and elsewhere on this planet, way past time!