The well being of veterans is clearly a focus of the Army and the Department of Defense, but it is also the focus of Kentucky legislators, who are working to better understand the needs of service members. In an effort to increase the one-on-one interactions with soldiers, Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary Co-Chair Representative John Tilley brought the committee and its speakers to Fort Campbell for its sixth meeting. Tilley says the Judiciary committee will be working with the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection committee, chaired by Representative Tanya Pullin to better serve the over 335-thousand veterans in Kentucky.
Chief Justice John Minton and Justice Will Scott were on hand for the meeting and told the committee about a new pilot program starting in Jefferson County to aid veterans in the court system, called Veterans Treatment Court. Jefferson County District Court Judge David Holton, who will preside over the court, says the court will have several components but one main objective.
The Veterans Treatment Court will be run through the drug courts and once details are worked out will be expanded to other counties with high veterans populations. There will be a second tier to the court, which will allow rural judges to pull a veterans docket and work with the drug courts to aid veterans. The program will be run with the help of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which has funding to aid veterans. The Committee also heard from the Southeast Regional State Liaison for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Eric Sherman and Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs Director Retired Colonel David Thompson.
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