Friday, July 12, 2013
This week Governor Jay Nixon signed into law SB 118 which authorizes the creation of veterans’ courts.
These courts, which are based on the drug court model, will dispose of criminal cases involving substance abuse or mental illness of current or former military personnel. The charges or penalty against the participant may be dismissed, reduced or modified based on the successful completion of the program.
The MCC advocated for the bill because the U.S. Bishops have long supported efforts to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime. The first veterans’ court was established in New York in 2008 to address the unique challenges facing military personnel. Since then over 70 courts have been established nationwide and more are in the works.