HARRISBURG – Legislation proposed by Senators Doug Mastriano (R-33) and Mike Regan (R-31) that would promote Veterans Courts in Pennsylvania received a unanimous vote Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Senate.
As a result, the measure advances to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 976 would formally place Veterans Courts into state statute, encourage counties that do not have a Veterans Court to collaborate with other counties that do, and allow counties that have a Problem Solving Court to adjudicate veterans through a “Veterans Track.”
“I served our country for 30 years, and many of those three decades were spent in foreign countries,” said Sen. Mastriano. “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about a fellow brother or sister who came home and had difficulty acclimating themselves to civilian and work life. Veterans Courts will help provide our American patriots with the stability they need when they come home.”
Veterans Courts are optional and emphasize a team-focused approach.
Veterans come before judges on a regular basis and receive mentorship from fellow veterans. Additionally, they are supervised by specialized probation officers and receive treatment and support from the Veterans Administration to address underlying problems often caused by post-traumatic stress injuries. These courts have seen great success with extremely low recidivism rates here in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
The first Veterans Court in Pennsylvania was established in Lackawanna County in 2009. Since then, 24 additional counties have created these special courts. Currently, 42 of the state’s 67 counties do not have a Veterans Court.
“Veterans have sacrificed so much for our freedoms,” said Mastriano. “This legislation shows that we appreciate their sacrifice.”
CONTACT: Scot Pitzer (Sen. Mastriano), 717-787-4651 firstname.lastname@example.org