Veterans Treatment Court

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VETERANS COURT STAFF

Jeffrey Thorne, Judge
La Porte County Superior Court 3

Eric LaRue,  Case Mgr. La Porte County Probation Department

Beth Kraus, 
La Porte County Community Corrections

Deb Leroy, Director
La Porte County Drug & Alcohol Program

Joe Golec, Veterans Services Officer
La Porte County

Kurt R. Earnst, Deputy
La Porte County Public Defender’s Office

Aarika Gonzalez, 
Veteran Justice Outreach Specialist

Barbra Stooksbury, Deputy Prosecutor
La Porte County

Katie Jasnieski, Swanson Center

Tyra Walker, Director of Treatment Services
La Porte County Jail

Jillian Ashley, 
Michigan City Assistant Police Chief

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ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Veterans Treatment Court is a problem solving court focused on addressing the needs of Veterans in the criminal justice system. The Veterans Treatment Court will accept defendants that have served, or are serving in the military, that have no criminal history or similar offenses prior to enlistment, and whose criminal activity can be linked to military service.

Veterans Treatment Court provides a supportive and inclusive climate for all Veterans regardless of race, gender, or disability.

The Veterans Treatment Court is a team approach at helping U.S. Military Veterans in La Porte County that are in trouble with the law. This court is designed to give veterans a mentor who is a veteran themselves. The veteran will meet with his/her mentor over the course of 12 – 18 months.

Similar to drug treatment and mental health courts, a Veterans Treatment Court utilizes a team-centered approach to address the needs of veterans who find themselves involved in the criminal justice system. This approach involves the cooperation and collaboration of traditional stakeholders found in drug treatment and mental health courts with the addition of representatives from The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans support organizations and peer mentors.

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COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Peer mentors are a critical component of the Veterans Court. They are men and women who have previously served in our military’s armed forces and volunteer their time to work with veterans in court. By virtue of their military experience, peer mentors provide veteran-defendants with a unique source of support and motivation as they navigate through the court process. Through the use of peer mentors, judicial monitoring, coordinated services and enhanced communication, the Veterans Treatment Court seeks to provide veterans with immediate and intensive intervention so that they can successfully reintegrate into civilian life.

FORMER JUDGE JENNIFER KOETHE & VETERAN JIM SCHAEFER INFORMING THE COMMUNITY ABOUT THE PROGRAM

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