In a society where addiction and mental illnesses run rampant, yet are often overlooked by those who are not burdened by the everyday harsh realities associated with these issues, Veterans have found themselves struggling to cope.
However, Veterans can now find comfort in a new program that was a first of its kind - The Hamilton County Veteran's Felony Court. Since its inception in 2012, the program has held five graduating ceremonies. The aim of the program is to aid Veterans in achieving a positive life transformation in order to again become productive members of society. Only Veterans who have been convicted of non-violent felonies and who have also struggled with addiction or mental illness qualify for the program.
Veterans have often found it difficult to transition back into civilian life, and as a result may turn to drugs to manage the agonizing pressure felt from the outside world. Before their tour of duty, most of the Veterans in this program did not have a criminal record; however after their return, and likely as a result of their trauma and injuries, many have turned to a life of crime in order to deal with everyday pressures.
In order to qualify for the Veteran's Felony Court program, the Veteran must not have been charged with a violent crime. Eligible Veterans can be referred by their probation officer, a judge, their attorney, or even the prosecuting attorney. Once accepted into this program, necessary treatment as well as proper guidance is provided. This program has been so effective, that out of all who have graduated, not a single one has had another issue; in fact some have even returned to offer their services in order to help others in need.
The United States has a long history of treating our Veterans below an acceptable standard of care. With advances in medicine and a society that is slowly becoming more aware of what addiction really is, perhaps a shift is in order and those with mental illness, specifically Veterans, can finally receive the treatment needed to thrive in society that is less than unforgiving.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or drug addiction and as a result of their struggles has been charged with a crime, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Bleile & Dawson. They are extremely knowledgeable in criminal law and defend clients in Cincinnati and throughout the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Contact us today for a completely confidential consultation at (513) 399-5945.