Hardin officials explore veterans treatment court

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Associated Press

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 8:03 AM

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — Officials near the central Kentucky Army post of Fort Knox want to establish a treatment court for veterans.

District Judge Kim Shumate, who serves on the state's Veterans Task Force within the Kentucky Access to Justice Commission, told The News-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/17joavV) that Hardin County officials have applied for a grant to fund such a program. Shumate said it would be similar to one in Jefferson County, which launched last fall.

Shumate said the courts would partner with the criminal justice system to ensure that veterans get any treatment they need, such as counseling for domestic violence, anger management and substance abuse, in order to "lead a productive, healthy life."

Hardin County Attorney Jenny Oldham said the initiative is in the exploratory stage and would be voluntary if it is established.

"This is not something that because you're a veteran, we're going to treat you differently," she said.

Although Hardin County has a high population of veterans, Oldham said that doesn't necessarily mean there is a need for the initiative.

"Part of the pilot is finding out, just because we have a high veteran population, does that also mean we have a high population of veterans who are charged with crimes or who are in the court system, who have a special need because of that?" she said.

She said one positive result of a treatment court is making local justice officials familiar with resources available for veterans.

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Information from: The News-Enterprise, http://www.thenewsenterprise.com

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