Russell proposed veterans court for Lincoln County
Lincoln County Circuit Court candidate Robert Russell has announced his intentions to open up a Veterans Court in Lincoln County if elected. A Veterans Court is a treatment court that involves the collaboration of drug and mental health treatment resources to serve veterans struggling with addiction, mental illness or mental health disorders. The objective of the court is to give veterans a second chance by providing treatment to them for their substance abuse and/or mental health issues rather than incarceration. The treatment is provided under the supervision of the Veterans Court team.
In announcing his plan, Russell said, “The advantage of a Veterans Court is that there is no cost to the taxpayers. This is because all of the personnel on the Veterans Court team are already being paid to do their jobs and the treatment aspect of the program is funded by the federal government through the Veteran’s Administration as a result of the individual veteran’s status as being a veteran.”
Volunteer veteran mentors are appointed by the court to guide and support the veteran through the court process.
“My family has a long, proud military history, including my two brothers, who both served full-time in the military,” said Russell. “My younger brother’s Brigadier General in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, Judge James Daley, opened the first veterans treatment court in Rock County. I have relied on Judge Daley’s knowledge and experience with the Veterans Court in making this proposal.”
In the Veterans Court, the District Attorney and defense attorney agree to allow the case to go into Veterans Court and a contract for participation is created. Treatment options may involve anger management classes, substance abuse and/or mental health treatment, and other therapies. Upon successful completion of the recommended treatment plan, the original charges against the defendant are either dismissed or reduced, depending on the details of the contract.
There are currently 11 court-connected programs covering 28 counties in Wisconsin.
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