Court diversion program helps veterans break cycle in legal system
There's an effort to break the cycle for Westchester veterans charged with crimes.
The Justice Outreach Program began including Westchester in 2019 to allow veterans in the criminal justice system to access avenues to reduce their charges and seek treatment for mental health and drug abuse.
One of part of the program is a veterans treatment court.
In that program defends who successfully complete an assigned treatment program, could have their charges reduced.
"It gives them an avenue and a sense of hope and a chance to be able to overcome a difficult time in their life," said Eddie Marcano, the Bronx VA Veterans Justice Outreach coordinator.
The program was launched through a partnership with the Bronx Veterans Affairs.
"Collectively as the DA's office, we want to support our veterans and do as much for them considering as much as they've done for us,” says Westchester County Assistant District Attorney MaryAnn Leibowitz.
To be eligible, people must be a veteran who was not dishonorably discharged. Each case is reviewed by a committee.