FORT WAYNE – Local veterans with mental health and substance abuse issues who find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system have a new resource.
After months of discussion between Allen Superior and Circuit courts, Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards’ office and other officials, Allen County now has a Veterans’ Court.
The program unveiled Tuesday morning, the day after Veterans Day will work alongside the county’s established Drug and Restoration courts, helping those with offenses linked to mental health and substance abuse avoid prison time in favor of treatment.
The court is one of five such programs operating in northeast Indiana, said officials with the Veterans Administration.
Around the nation, states and counties are opening similar courts to help returning veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries who find themselves in trouble with the law.
For more on this story, see Wednesday’s print edition of the Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Wednesday.