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Essay on The Functions and Goals of the Special Veterans' Courts

Decent Essays
1. I chose to cover special veterans’ courts for this paper. This court was created back in 2008 in Buffalo, New York. It was created by Judge Robert Russell in an effort to help veterans who have broken the law due to the adverse psychological and emotional effects that military service can have upon a service member. Some veterans, after undergoing various combat situations, being cut off from family and friends, and other hardships associated with being in the military, are not able to properly assimilate back into civilian life, if at all. They may resort to drug use or alcoholism to cope, and/or act out in other ways as well. In the various articles of this kind of court I’ve read, courts usually require that the veteran’s offense…show more content…
3. From what I’ve read, this kind of court is highly successful. In the case of Judge Robert Russell’s original special veteran’s court, his court saw (at the time of this particular article) a 90% success rate without any recidivism. In Hennepin County, Minnesota, their special veteran’s court was found in a study of two years to have lowered the amount of offenses committed of 83% of the participants six months after being in the program, as compared to six months before.
One judge noted that working with fellow veterans is particularly helpful to those going through this special court. Veterans Today found that these programs have very high success rates, and some programs can have up to a 90% success rate.
4. On Kentucky.gov, it shows that there are two special veterans’ courts; the first one in Jefferson County, and the second in Fayette County. I believe that in order for these courts to continue to function all that they must do is follow the precedent set by already established courts in the U.S., as on average they have a very high success rate. One thing I found in common with the articles I read is that it is important for veterans being put through these kinds of courts to be working with fellow veterans, and so I think that this should be a big staple for the two courts in Kentucky to do to help ensure the success of their programs. As one veteran puts it, you can’t talk to a civilian who’s never experienced what you have as
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