Panel discussion on Veterans Courts in Pennsylvania
This morning, I participated in the panel discussion "Veterans Courts in Pennsylvania" as part of a continuing education program with Widener University Commonwealth Law School. Joining me were Lt. Governor Mike Stack, Sen. John Rafferty, Sen. Lisa Baker and others. We discussed the importance of veterans to the commonwealth, the significance of a veterans’ court and how to cover the cost of a special court.
A veterans’ court focuses on veterans who are currently in, or entering, the criminal justice system. The court is a collaborative process that includes the prosecutor, defense counsel, judge, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other community-based support organizations. The goal of a veterans’ court is to rehabilitate and restore veterans as active contributing members of their community. The court creates and supervises treatment plans to address the underlying causes of the veteran's behavior, including substance abuse issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, anger issues and domestic violence.