Supporting veterans by ensuring their needs are met in the justice system

Supporting veterans by ensuring their needs are met in the justice system

2018-11-10T19:39:45+00:00November 11th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Courts, Mental health, Sentencing, Trauma|

Veterans Day is Nov. 11, but when that day falls on a weekend, as it does in 2018, the federal holiday is also observed in a weekday, which is why Veterans Day is being observed on Nov. 12 this year. Safe & Just Michigan honors the spirit and sacrifice of all the people who wore the uniform of our country and did so much to keep us safe. We owe a great debt of gratitude to them — as well as their families.

One of the best ways we can think of to acknowledge and honor our veterans is to make sure that they get a fair and equal chance at justice when they face a legal problem. Many veterans face mental health challenges such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and PTSD is known to be linked to substance abuse. Unfortunately, this can lead to involvement in the justice system.

Rather than punishing veterans with harsh prison sentences, we support efforts to provide them with treatment so that they can make positive changes in their lives. One of the most innovative ways this is being done is through problem-solving courts such as Michigan’s veterans courts. These specialty courts attempt to find a solution — such as substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling or community service — that will allow a veteran to hold him or herself accountable but avoid a life-changing criminal record and prison sentence.

Here are some interesting facts about Michigan’s Veterans Treatment Courts we’d like to share with you this Veterans Day: