The atmosphere and energy in a typical Southern California Veterans Court is measurably different than that of a standard criminal courtroom. It is not uncommon to hear loud cheers and applause coming from those courtrooms designed specifically for veterans facing criminal charges. Veterans courts bring together social service providers, veterans specialists, prosecutors, and defense lawyers in a non-adversarial process to tailor a service plan to a defendant’s particular needs. The veterans court model is designed to offer treatment rather than incarceration to criminal offenders who have served in the military.
Veterans courts are becoming more readily available for local California courts to address the growing number of veterans in the criminal justice system. In California, counties including Orange, Los Angeles, Tulare, and Ventura have joined the veterans court movement – San Diego hopes to open a veterans court sometime this year. Recent U.S. Department of Justice statistics show that approximately 140,000 veterans were inmates in state and federal prisons in 2004. In addition, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are leading factors contributing to new law violations for many veterans.
The inspiration behind veterans courts is an understanding that for many veterans incarceration is unlikely to treat substance abuse or mental illness. Veterans court provides specific treatment plans and court supervision with an eye towards treatment and rehabilitation, rather than incarceration.
If you have any questions at all about Veterans Court please contact Wallin & Klarich. At Wallin & Klarich we have helped people accused of criminal offenses for over 30 years. Call us today at (888) 749-7428 or visit us at our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.