Jasper County's Veterans Court Gives Second Chances to Vets Who - KOAM TV 7

Jasper County's Veterans Court Gives Second Chances to Vets Who Commit Crimes


 Giving veterans a second chance at life. That's the goal of Jasper County's newest treatment court. Veterans court started in August.

It's first participant is Justin Cozart who's moving into phase three of the program. A special team that goes beyond the judge and prosecutor works with veterans to get them specialized treatment and supports. They often face co-occurring problems like PTSD and addiction and are often too proud to admit it and seek help. 

Marcy Van de Berg is the veterans affairs justice outreach coordinator and said, "Whether the veteran   qualifies for VA  care or not we're serving those  veterans  and helping to  lift them back up and bring them  back into the community and making them whole again." 

Cozart said he has changed with the program that is structured and has lots of accountability.  He said, "It's given me an opportunity  to confront my problems with addiction rather than   just sending me back to  prison. It's given me a second opportunity at life."
A key to the program is veteran mentors who are there to support participants having a shared history of service.  But more mentors are needed.  To be a veteran mentor and volunteer you can contact coordinator Amy Donaldson with Compass Quest at 417-438-8387 or Matt Ouren the Veterans Court Administrator at 417-438-4245. 

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