The United States military personnel face extraordinary challenges during their service, from the rigors of deployment to the trauma of combat.
Many vets return home with mental and physical health issues that can lead to difficulties in their personal and professional lives. Unfortunately, some veterans end up in the criminal justice system as a result of their struggles. However, in Allegheny County, there is a court specifically designed to help veterans get back on track.
The Allegheny County Veterans Court is a specialized program that provides a second chance for veterans who have become involved in the criminal justice system. The program is designed to help veterans address the underlying issues that may have contributed to their involvement in the justice system, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, or homelessness. It is a collaborative effort between the court, the prosecutor’s office, the public defender’s office, and the Veterans Administration.
The program is voluntary and participants must meet certain criteria to be eligible. They must be veterans who have been charged with nonviolent offenses. Participants are closely monitored and must attend regular court hearings, meet with a case manager, and comply with treatment requirements.
The goal of the Veterans Court is to help veterans avoid incarceration and get the help they need to address their issues. If a participant successfully completes the program, their charges may be dismissed or reduced, and they may be eligible for expungement. Additionally, participants may receive assistance with obtaining healthcare, education, and employment.
The Veterans Court is an innovative approach to dealing with veterans who have become involved in the criminal justice system. It recognizes that veterans may have unique needs and challenges and provides them with the support and resources they need to succeed. By providing a second chance to veterans who have served our country, the Veterans Court is helping to create a brighter future for them and their families.
See the following resources for more information on the Allegheny County Veterans Court:
- Allegheny County Veterans Court website
- Allegheny County Veterans Court Program brochure
- CBS News / KDKA Pittsburgh: ‘Literally Saved My Life’: Allegheny Co. Veterans Court Helps Struggling Veterans Charged With Crimes
- 90.5 WESA: Essential Pittsburgh: Veterans Court Seeks Alternatives to Incarceration
If you were charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, our Pittsburgh Criminal Attorneys can help. Call us for a free consultation about your case: 412-456-1212