Courts See an Increase in Veteran Offenders in Phoenix


PHOENIX – Consider it customized justice. A new ‘veterans court’ will initially handle cases involving vets who have violated probation. Many veterans being referred to the new court got in trouble for DUI, domestic violence and aggravated assault.

The hope is the court will help identify vets who need extra customized services for problems such as drug and mental issues.

Norm Davis is the presiding judge of Maricopa County Superior Court.

“Because of the nature of the injury, because of the nature of how they see the injury, many of them don’t seek treatment, don’t know they need treatment, don’t know it’s available,” said Davis.

“You’ve been deployed for 12 to 18 months. You’re keyed all the time. You have a high anxiety. You come back home. You bring that with you,” said Michael Jones with the Phoenix Veterans Administration. He says some veterans need to decompress and slow down.

“It’s expressed in the way you drive. In the way you talk to people. A lot of people end up drinking excessively more than normal,” said Leon. “For those that are coming back from a wartime situation and environment, they’re coming back to adjust to a different lifestyle.”

The judge says veterans court began in Buffalo, New York two years ago. Other cities are trying it. He calls it a win for the public and veterans.

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