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Allen County courts join forces to establish new veterans’ court

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Allen County will gavel in its veterans’ court Nov. 12 and join a growing list of Indiana jurisdictions creating the problem-solving court especially to serve military veterans.
 
The court in Fort Wayne is the result of a collaborative effort by Allen Circuit Judge Tom Felts and Allen Superior Judge Francis Gull.

“It makes sense economically, it makes sense for public safety, it makes sense to reduce contact with the justice system,” Felts said of the new veterans’ court. “It makes sense all around.”

Veterans’ courts have been popping up around Indiana for the last two or three years, according to Mary Kay Hudson, problem-solving court administrator at the Indiana Judicial Center. They typically appear in counties where judges have championed their implementation and local governments have appropriated the necessary funding.

In the mental health court and drug court that Felts and Gull oversee respectively, each has encountered a number of veterans and realized the need for a court geared toward these individuals. The judges have seen the unique issues and needs of this population while, at the same time, they knew the Department of Veterans Affairs was providing more services in the northeast part of Indiana.

The pair began work separately to establish a veterans’ court but joined together once they learned of the other’s efforts.

Felts explained the court is “designed to increase the available benefits and services we can provide to the veterans.”

To that end, the Allen County Veterans’ Court has secured a liaison from the Veteran Justice Outreach Office who will work with the court and assist in finding resources and services for the military veterans.

Individuals who have served in the military can suffer from the same substance abuse and mental health issues as non-veterans, Hudson said. However, their struggles can be complicated by combat injuries like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injuries and chronic pain.
 
Veterans’ courts that follow the drug court model have reported positive outcomes including reduced recidivism and lower costs, Hudson said.

Of the veterans coming into the problem-solving courts in Allen County, Felts estimated two-thirds had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The remainder served primarily in Vietnam and the first Gulf War.



 

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  1. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  2. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  3. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  4. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  5. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

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