So proud of our Veteran Brother and legal battle buddy, Evan Tsai, for his meticulous and passionate article on Minnesota’s Veteran Treatment Courts.
As we enter our 17th year of the current conflicts, the longest continuous wars in our nation’s history – without a draft, our military is under unprecedented strain. Many of our current generation of war veterans have served multiple combat tours. Some, in our special operations forces have served in the teens, even 20’s, deployments. The all-too-predictable results are higher rates of psychological trauma and, in many cases, contact with the criminal justice system.
Minnesota’s Veterans Courts present a unique opportunity to use a criminal justice contact as an intervention opportunity with a troubled veteran. She or he can be held accountable, but given an opportunity to receive needed treatment and a second chance at a clear record, that will allow them to once again become assets to the communities they previously risked their lives to protect,and not long-term liabilities. As Evan notes, much work remains to be done if we are truly going to “Support our Troops” this time around.