Arizona Veterans Courts push counseling, not jail for vets

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona military veterans who land in court for minor offenses are also landing second chances.

Judges and prosecutors across the state have been holding "Veterans Courts" to make sure defendants who may have physical and mental battle wounds get rehabilitation instead of jail time.

The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/1x0D3jS) the state has 10 Veterans Courts in several cities including Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff. An 11th court is slated to start in La Paz County.

The program leans toward requiring counseling or other treatment for veterans who have committed minor misdemeanor infractions.

City prosecutor Patricia George says she started a Veterans Court in 2012 in Phoenix after seeing a pattern of "red flags" in cases involving military vets.

She says nearly 800 military personnel have taken part in the program.

Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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