Memorial Day is an important reminder that not all who return from war, return unscathed. For those who defend our freedoms, there is often a psychological toll and many returning military members find it difficult to reintegrate into society. Sometimes they find themselves in a difficult place that may lead to a criminal act. For those returning military members who do find themselves before the criminal justice system, there is an available option.
Veterans court is a program offered by the state to assist veterans involved in the criminal justice process. The program involves the cooperation of various entities involved in the criminal justice system. The unique feature of Veterans court is the inclusion of volunteer veterans that will assist the participant as a support system throughout the duration of their case. The volunteer provided is often from the same military branch or the same war period. The camaraderie between veterans is a vital part to help the participant stay accountable during their time in the program. This bond between veterans plays a key factor in the program’s high success rate.
Veterans court is offered in 31 Florida counties and St. Lucie county is proud to offer veterans court in our circuit. The program is not automatic and veterans with criminal charges must choose to enter it. Currently, there are over 20 participants entered into the program in St. Lucie county.
For more information about the Clerk’s office, visit stlucieclerk.com.