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Veterans Court

US Flag The Fourth Judicial District Court and Hennepin County implemented Veterans Court in 2010, with the mission to promote public safety and assist and support veterans and their families by creating a coordinated response through collaboration with the veteran’s service delivery system, community-based services, and the criminal justice system.

The Hennepin County Veterans Court operates on a weekly basis, as a separate calendar within the existing Criminal Mental Health Court. Under the guidance of their defense attorney and with the consent of the prosecutor, defendants may apply to participate in Veterans Court. The target population consists of defendants who have served in the United States Armed Forces who are experiencing treatable behavioral and chemical health issues, i.e., PTSD, TBI, anger management/domestic violence and/or substance abuse or chemical dependency. Defendants must be willing to take responsibility for their crimes. Eligible offenses include misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor and felony offenses, except mandatory and presumptive prison commitments. Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases are also accepted from the suburban courts as well. A treatable behavioral or chemical health issue is determined by an assessment completed by qualified personnel at the Veterans Administration or Veterans Court. The court establishes jurisdiction on both a pre-trial and post-conviction basis.

Participation in the minimum 12-month program is voluntary. Defendants are legally screened by the prosecutor. Clinical screening is accomplished by Veterans Court professional staff, and by referral to the VA Medical Centers. The screening is intended to determine the impact the behavioral and chemical health issues are having on the defendant’s criminal behavior. If screeners find the defendant suitable for Veterans Court, a plan is proposed that becomes the basis of the sentence imposed. The defendant’s participation in treatment is then monitored by a probation officer. In all cases, a mentor is assigned to support and encourage the participant in the Veterans Court process. Each defendant also periodically appears in court for judicial supervision.

Judge Kerry Meyer presides over Veterans Court. If you are interested in observing Veterans Court, hearings take place every Monday at 10:00 a.m. at the Hennepin County Government Center in courtroom C857.

For more information contact:

Allison Holbrook
Coordinator
612-348-6302
email: Allison.Holbrook@courts.state.mn.us

Related Links

Video: Veterans Court"America Salutes: Judge Charles A. Porter and Veterans Court" (30 min. video produced by Metro Cable Network/Channel 6)

 In the News

Veterans Court Partners

 State of Minnesota

  • Fourth Judicial District / Hennepin County District Court
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Employment and Economic Development
    • Veterans Employment Services

Hennepin County

  • Board of Commissioners
  • Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Department of Human Services and Public Health
    • Veterans’ Service
    • Corporate Compliance and Quality Assurance
  • Attorney’s Office
  • Public Defender’s Office

U.S. government

  • Department of Veterans Affairs
    • Minneapolis VA Medical Center
    • Veterans Benefits Administration, St. Paul Regional Office    
    • Department of Justice
      • Bureau of Justice Assistance
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
    • AmeriCorps (Veteran Service Corps)

City of Minneapolis

  • Attorney’s Office
  • Police Department

Others

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness – Minnesota
  • Metropolitan Center for Independent Living
  • Battered Women’s Justice Project
  • Domestic Abuse Project
  • Council on Crime and Justice

 

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