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Announcement to Help Vets With Mental Illnesses or Drug Addictions

Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, over 100,000 combat veterans have sought help for mental illness or drug addictions and unfortunately these issues can often lead into run-ins with the law.
Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, over 100,000 combat veterans have sought help for mental illness or drug addictions and unfortunately these issues can often lead into run-ins with the law.

In a move believed to be the first of it's kind in the state of Indiana, the Allen County Superior Court Criminal Division and the Allen Circuit Court announced that they are working together to establish a joint Veteran's Treatment Court.  Veterans Outreach Justice Specialist Rita Wynn shares her excitement.

"I think everyone's really invested in this, and I think that's great.  It will be a good program for our veterans, we're glad to see it get started."

Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Karen Richards agrees that something needed to be done to help veterans dealing with mental illness and drug addiction while they go through the court system.

"These men and women have given our nation their best in their service to our country, and in return we need to give them the best treatment that we can."

The Joint Veterans Court will begin with 18 veterans total.  9 from each of the 2 court systems.

"The sentencing will be different because the sentencing will involve possibly living in a halfway house, it will include counseling or mental health treatment."

Allen Circuit Court Judge Thomas Felts says getting veterans the help they need will be a win for veterans in the community.

"To address their military experience, any issues that may of come up through the military and again, to promote public safety and help them stay out of trouble in the future."

Officials are still in the planning phase, and haven't decided when the first date of the new veterans treatment court will take place.
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