Daytona Beach News Journal
August 19, 2016
Buffalo, New York introduced the concept to the U.S. when it implemented the first veterans court in the country in January 2008. That circuit billed its diversionary treatment model as a “hybrid drug and mental health court” designed specifically to help veterans struggling with addiction and/or mental illnessBUNNELL — Flagler County officials are seeking to establish a special court aimed at helping military veterans who run afoul of the law.
Flagler County commissioners overwhelmingly favored the idea of establishing a veterans court after listening to a presentation by Palm Coast resident Ed Fuller and congressional staffer Randy Stapleford during a Monday afternoon workshop inside the Government Services Building in Bunnell. Each of the four commissioners said they supported the idea.
“As a county, we need to set the example for our veterans that they are welcome in Flagler County and we will take care of them,” said Commissioner George Hanns, a Vietnam War veteran. “So many of them have problems. Post-traumatic stress is a terrible thing … It’s very important. I think it’s a great program.”
Despite unanimous support from county commissioners, the plan to implement a veterans court in Flagler has hurdles to clear. Stapleford, who identified himself as a military and veterans coordinator for U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis' office, told the commission that 7th Circuit Chief Judge Terrence Perkins would likely determine the court’s fate in Flagler County.
Sal Rutigliano, the county's veterans services officer, also attended Monday’s workshop and indicated there are nearly 13,000 veterans in Flagler County. Stapleford said Volusia has about 56,000 and St. Johns has close to 20,000 vets.Also if you want to know why this is such a great idea,
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