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County court using funds to open veterans court
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Stanislaus County Superior Court is hoping to better help the men and women who have served the country by establishing a court that addresses some of the underlying needs of veterans.

The court, which is slated to start in January 2016, will be partnering with the California Veteran’s Legal Task Force, Veterans Administration, Stanislaus County Behavior Health and Recovery Services, Stanislaus District Attorney, Stanislaus Public Defender, Stanislaus Probation Department, Aging and Veterans Services, California Department of Corrections, and the Modesto Veteran’s Center.

Veterans’ court will provide support and services to veterans and address some of the underlying issues that have led them to the judicial system. The overall goal of the court is to re-connect veterans in need with society. The court will take an approach that utilizes early intervention, connecting veterans to services, such as treatment and rehabilitation programs, and ongoing judicial interventions.

“Veterans’ court brings together resources and support that specifically meets the needs unique to those who have served in the various armed forces,” said Stephanie Mitchell, chief operations officer at Stanislaus County Superior Court.

Stanislaus County Superior Court received approximately $500,000 through the Judicial Council of California, as part of $15 million the legislature allocated to the Recidivism Reduction Fund.  The funds are designated for courts to use in the administration and operation of programs and practices known to reduce offender recidivism and enhance public safety.

Stanislaus County currently has a veteran population of approximately 27,000.  Approximately 4 percent of the overall jail population in the county is comprised of veterans, according the Stanislaus County Superior Court.