Sunday, May 20, 2018

Veterans Court turning lives around...and saving them

Court program helps turn troubled vets’ lives around
Group State
By Bob Montgomery
Staff Writer
Posted May 19, 2018

Marine veteran Jason Moore has seen what war can do to a young soldier, and he’s committed to helping those in trouble with the law turn their lives around.
“You’re taking a guy with a hiccup and giving him a second chance,” he said of Upstate Warrior Solution’s Veterans Treatment Court program, which kicked off last year with a $20,000 grant from the United Way of the Piedmont.

With the victims’ consent, the court program assigns veterans who commit nonviolent offenses to an advocate, or mentor, who pleads on their behalf.

Instead of going to jail, they go through a treatment program and are held accountable along the way. When they finish, up to a year later, they have their charges expunged.

“Veterans who served should never be underserved in our community,” said Heather Witt, vice president of community impact for the United Way.

An estimated 100,000 veterans live in the Upstate. Upstate Warrior Solution also helps run the Greenville court program, which started in 2014.

The pilot program was brought to the 7th Judicial Circuit and led by Deputy Solicitor Derrick Bulsa and Circuit Court Judge Keith Kelly.
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