Local program for military members involved in criminal cases discussed

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A roundtable discussion was held for the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs to discuss ways to improve the Massachusetts Veterans Treatment Courts. 

Veterans’ Treatment Courts is a program meant to handle criminal cases involving defendants who have a history of military service. The program can offer probation periods and rehabilitation for veterans who commit certain crimes. 

Senator John Velis, who hosted the meeting, told 22News one of the key issues to be addressed was transportation for veterans to utilize the court system. 

“The treatment court is here in Holyoke, what about for veterans who are in Westfield or in Springfield or the Berkshires? It would be an awful day if a veteran was eligible because of their criteria, but they couldn’t participate in this program because they couldn’t get to the courthouse,” said Sen. John Velis. 

Among other issues addressed was the need for more mentors to help veterans learn more about the treatment courts. Velis plans to bring these findings back to the Statehouse. 

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