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A new approach to veterans' justice

A new approach to veterans' justice

Mo. legislators, groups and veterans work to establish state veterans' court model

April 18th, 2011 by Jeremy P. Amick in News

Rep. David Day, R-Dixon, far right, discusses establishing a state veterans' court model during a recent meeting held in his Capitol office. The meeting was attended by local veterans, Office of State Courts, Harry S Truman Memorial Hospital and the Silver Star Families of America.

Editor's Note: Jeremy P. Amick is a life member of the Disabled American Veterans and public affairs officer for the Silver Star Families of America.

During a recent meeting held at the Missouri Capitol office of state Rep. David Day, R-Dixon, a new justice model for military veterans that is taking root across the nation was the topic of an energized discussion.

"Local level courts often do not understand the stressors many of our veterans experience when deployed overseas," said Thomas Huber, local attorney and veteran of the Air National Guard.

Huber and other meeting attendees shared stories of veterans they have worked with who were "model citizens" prior to their overseas service, but who eventually wound up facing significant judicial sanctions - sometimes incarceration - simply because they did not receive the treatment and help necessary to successfully reintegrate into their communities.

The discussion focused on a burgeoning therapeutic model of justice known as veterans' courts.