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11/24/2020 01:58 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20190&cosponId=30653
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: November 14, 2019 10:35 AM
From: Senator Mike Regan and Sen. Doug Mastriano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Veterans Courts
 
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation to statutorily establish Veterans Courts.

Of our 67 counties, 25 have a Veterans Court. These courts, which are optional for Veterans, emphasize a team-focused approach. Veterans come before judges on a regular basis, receive mentorship from fellow Veterans, are supervised by specialized probation officers, and receive treatment and support from the Veterans Administration to address underlying problems often caused by post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSI). These courts have seen great success with extremely low recidivism rates here in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

However, one of the issues that has been raised during recent Veterans Suicide Roundtables held across the state by Senator Regan is the lack of access to Veterans Courts and assistance for those Veterans who find themselves in trouble with the law as a result of service-related issues such as PTSI. Therefore, together we want to empower additional counties to establish Veterans Courts or related alternatives.

Our legislation will codify Veterans Courts into law, allow Veterans Courts to permit participation by Veterans from adjacent counties, and allow county common pleas courts that have other problem-solving courts to establish “Veterans Tracks” – programs that utilize some components of a Veterans Court.

Please join us in sponsoring this legislation, which will give our judicial system more tools to help Veterans navigating the criminal justice system.

If you have any questions, please contact Nate Silcox, in Senator Regan’s Office, at 717-787-8524.

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Introduced as SB976