We recently had the opportunity to resolve a case before the Norfolk County Veteran’s Court in the Dedham District Court. The veterans’ court is a program that provides services to veterans that have been charged with crimes and gives them an opportunity to complete a serious and closely supervised term of probation in lieu of a jail sentence.Reason for Veteran’s Court
Many veterans returning from service overseas have had experiences in the service of their country that have caused post-traumatic stress disorder or other issues that have made their re-integration to life here at home difficult. These difficulties can sometimes lead to criminal charges.
Given all that they have sacrificed for their county, the least that we can do is give them a second chance and try to help them when they run into legal problems. A jail sentence is not going to help with any underlying psychological issues.How Veteran’s Court Differs
The veterans court helps veterans connect with services, connects them with other veterans, and ensures that they are closely monitored by a probation officer and by the court hological issues, and they have earned the opportunity that veterans court affords them.
Hopefully, there will be a Suffolk County Veteran’s Court, Plymouth County Veteran’s Court, and veterans courts throughout all of Massachusetts. In the meantime, the Norfolk County Veteran’s Court in the Dedham District Court is a model of how we can assist veterans who have been charged with crimes.