Veterans Courts Focus On Treatment Over Punishment
In 2015, California became one of the first states to establish a specialized Military Diversion program for current and former military personnel accused of misdemeanors and suffering from service-related trauma, substance abuse or mental health problems.
Orange County Register:
For Military Veterans Facing Misdemeanors, A 2nd Chance In The Court System
As an explosives expert in the U.S. Marine Corps, Zack Clayton had many close calls diffusing bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. “You always know it’s a possibility that something could go off, but if you let that fear get to you, you can’t do your work,” he said. “You go into survival mode.” After four combat tours, Clayton received an honorable discharged in June 2014, but the experience left him with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. He moved to San Diego and slipped into depression, he said, as he struggled to navigate the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ health care system for treatment. (Puente, 6/6)