Criminal courts tailored to veterans multiply as wars wind down

On Monday, Yahoo News released an article covering the critical expansion of Veterans Treatment Courts. The article notes that Veterans Treatment Courts have been multiplying as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. Yahoo News discusses the need to prepare for a wave of veterans in need of treatment and walks the readers through one graduates experience of alcoholism, PTSD, ending up in Veterans Treatment Court, and ultimately recovery. Justice For Vets was honored to work closely with Yahoo News on this important piece.

Special vets-only justice system gives second chances to those who served

By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo NewsJune 30, 2014 5:41 AMYahoo News

The first time Jaime Pagan got arrested, he was lost and alone.

He had been out partying with his buddies from childhood, something he was doing more and more often to delay the dreaded hours spent alternating between trying to sleep and enduring vivid nightmares about being redeployed to Mosul, Iraq, with his unit.

Pagan was speeding around Long Island at 4 a.m., wondering how he could have driven so far off course from Brooklyn, when he saw police lights in his rearview mirror. The officer pulled him over and tested his blood alcohol level, which was nearly twice the legal limit.

For the first time in his life, Pagan was in real trouble. He was arrested, fingerprinted and thrown in the county jail overnight. The next day, he waited in a long line of offenders before a judge sentenced him to a rigorous six-month alcohol treatment program, cutting him a break since he was a first-time lawbreaker. Each time Pagan appeared in court for his monthly checkup, a new prosecutor, judge and even defender seemed to appear by his side, giving the ex-soldier a feeling of anonymity. No one asked if he had served in the military. Click here to read the full article.