Without appropriate treatment these veterans are at increased risk of harming themselves or others.
Presiding Judge Norman Davis said, "Veterans Court will not relieve a veteran from responsibility for a criminal action, but will better protect the community and honor the veterans' service by connecting them with services designed to reduce the rate of recidivism and strengthen the family dynamic." On January 20, the court will kick off their first ever Veterans Court Calendar. Phase one will work with veterans who are currently on probation and have absconded or veterans on supervision who are at risk of violating their probation terms.In most cases, treatment and services are available to the veteran through the Veterans Administration to address their special needs. However, many do not voluntarily seek treatment because of their failure to recognize they need treatment, the social stigma in seeking treatment, or simply being unaware of the services available.
Veterans Court is based on a team approach. Participants include: Maricopa County Adult Probation Department, Veterans Service Outreach Specialist, Carl Hayden Veterans Hospital, Magellan Court Liaison, Maricopa County Attorney, Maricopa County Public Defender, Arizona State Bar Military Legal Assistance Committee, Private Practice Attorneys, Veteran Peer Support, Correctional Health Services and Behavioral Health Provider Networks.
Criminal Court Presiding Judge Douglas Rayes and Commissioner Michael Hintze will oversee the program.
The first court calendar is January 20 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm in the Central Court Building 402.
Commissioner Hintze, whose father served in WWII, said, "I feel it is vital that veterans be treated with conviction, compassion and deliberate justice in order to address their substance abuse, alcoholism and behavioral health issues."
"Veterans Court will protect the community and provide veterans with tools for success."