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On Veteran's Day this Saturday, we all will take time from our day to remember and recognize the significant contributions and sacrifices that our Veterans have made for the United Statesand many other countries to advance the cause of freedom and justice. The 10th Judicial District of Pennsylvania in Westmoreland County under the leadership of President Judge Richard McCormick, Jr. wants to remind all veterans, citizens and attorneys of the availability of Veterans Court.
In Veterans Courts, eligible veteran defendants are offered an opportunity to participate in a voluntary program that involves judicially supervised compliance with a treatment plan developed by veteran health-care professionals. Mentor coordinators, veterans who volunteer their time, help their fellow veterans navigate the court, treatment and VeteransAffairs systems.
Westmoreland County Chief Public Defender Wayne McGrew supports Veterans Court, and would like more veterans to be able to participate in veterans' court. He stated; “Veteran’s Court is a very important but underutilized tool available for our veteran community. It is a great opportunity to help those who have served our country and sacrificed so much. The Public Defender’s Office fully supports the use of and the growth of the Veteran’s Court of Westmoreland County. ”
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck also encourages the use of veterans court to address certain issues veterans may suffer as a result of their service to our country. "I, as a veteran, support the concept of a Veteran’s Court to appropriately address the after effects we sometimes see in our veterans which have resulted from military service", said Peck.
The Court attempts to identify eligible veterans at the Magisterial District Court level to facilitate early intervention. According to President Judge Richard McCormick, Jr., "Our experience has been that the sooner we get someone into treatment the more successful treatment can be. The VA and our Magisterial District Judges have worked hand in hand to make this a reality for our veterans."
Veterans who have been arrested are encouraged to identify themselves as a veteran to the court as soon as possible, so the court can facilitate potential entry in the Veterans Court program.For additional information, please contact the Westmoreland Court Administrators office at 724-830-3828