Grant helps Vigo County Veterans Court remain operational

The Vigo County Veterans court received a state-funded grant to continue their project for the next year.

Posted: Jun. 28, 2018 6:59 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A local treatment plan for veterans received a state-funded grant to run another year. 

This is the third year in a row that the Vigo County Veterans Court has gotten this grant. It helps to keep the program operational.

This year they got 20% more money then they did last year. It totaled to 140,000 dollars. 

"We use that money to pay our full-time staff and keep them on the program." Judge John Roach, who started the program two years ago said. "A lot of it helps to pay for drug screening.  Because, if you're new to the program you have to drug screen a minimum of twice a week. Later on, in the program, it's a minimum of once a week."

Roach said there are screenings to be able to be apart of the program. First, you must be a veteran. Second, you must have some sort of head injury, mental illness or PTSD and lastly, you must have committed a non-violent crime. 

"We try to get veterans that are in contact with the criminal justice system into our court to enter our program." James Ramar, Veteran courts coordinator. "It's a phased program and then if they successfully graduate their charges can be dropped or reduced or dismissed." 

Ramar is a veteran himself. "I served nine and half years in the Air National Guard and had always felt like something was missing." He said. "To get back involved with this and get back working with veterans is everything to me." 

Roach says the program is rigorous but the veterans involved step up and can go on to lead normal productive lives. 

"We have a few slips here and there but overall we have a high success rate." He said. "These programs the treatment court, the drug court programs have a success rate of 75% and greater."

The Veterans court works with the VA, the Public Defender’s Office, the Prosecutors Office, the Probation Department, Community Corrections and many other organizations around Vigo County. 

If you want to get involved and help volunteer you can visit their website here

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