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Circuit establishes veterans court
The Atlantic Judicial Circuit has received funding to establish a Veterans Treatment Court. - photo by Stock photo

The Atlantic Judicial Circuit has received funding to establish a Veterans Treatment Court.

Superior Court Judge Robert Russell III recently announced the $94,299 grant from the Council of Accountability Court Judges and the state for 2016-17.

The circuit had its first session of Veterans Court last month in Hinesville. Russell is the presiding judge. The court is supposed to identify veteran-offenders suffering from addiction, mental illness or other disorders and divert them from jail into treatment and services.

"We are rising to meet the needs of our military by ensuring that justice-involved veterans receive the benefits and treatment they have earned in a Veterans Treatment Court," a news release said.

The experience of combat calls for a unique solution, he said.

A news release said the court was created in response to a growing number of veterans appearing on dockets who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and suffering from mental illness.

The court is a collaborative effort of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit which covers Liberty, Long, Bryan, McIntosh, Evans and Tattnall counties, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s office, Recovery Place, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other veteran services and support organizations.

The release from the court said the court will combine treatment and accountability to veterans who face charges stemming from substance abuse and/or mental health issues. "Veterans Court promotes sobriety, recovery and stability through a coordinated response that is designed to meet the specific needs of veterans," the release said. "Treatment court not only allows veterans to go through the treatment court process with other veterans who are similarly situated and have common past experiences, but links them with Veterans Affairs services uniquely designed for the distinct needs that arise from that experience."

Since the court started four veterans have been admitted.

The staff asks for community support. If you know of someone who could benefit from the program have them contact the Veterans Treatment Court Administrator, Della Martin Horne at 912-368-5897.

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