Florida State Attorney
November 19, 2019
Editor’s Note: In June of 2017, Suanne Z. Thamm, reporter-news analyst, penned an article “Leave no veteran behind.” It is one of most popular articles and well worth reading.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is leading a bipartisan effort of 44 attorneys general in urging Congress to further support Veteran Treatment Courts by passing the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act of 2019. Veteran Treatment Courts are diversionary court processes, similar to drug and mental health courts, used for minor, non-violent offenses. These courts pair veterans with mentors to address substance abuse and mental health issues, and assist veterans with obtaining U.S. Veterans Administration benefits that can help them with treatment and employment. There are currently more than 450 Veteran Treatment Courts in 40 states and U.S. territories.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “When our veterans serve our country, and fight to protect us here at home, many have experiences that scar them inside and out. Post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illness lead many to abuse substances. Tragically 16 veterans a day commit suicide. This legislation, if enacted by Congress, will help veterans in the criminal justice system get the treatment they need. We see too many cases in our court system where veterans commit a minor or non-violent criminal offense that can be attributed to a service-related injury and we must get better at identifying them and pairing them with those that can assist in their recovery.”
In a letter to Senate leaders, Attorney General Moody and 43 other attorneys general wrote to encourage the passage of House Resolution 886, the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act of 2019. H.R. 886 would establish a Veteran Treatment Court Program in the U.S. Department of Justice to provide grants and technical assistance to state, local and tribal courts that implement Veteran Treatment Courts.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sponsored the letter, with New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas co-sponsoring. The Attorneys General from the following states and territories signed the letter: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin