On April 10th, Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty visited the Central Oregon Veterans Council to update everyone about Vet Court.
A Veterans Treatment Court is a court specifically for Veterans. The YouTube video below provides a brief explanation of why a community benefits from a Vet Court and what it accomplishes.
Currently, we do not have a Vet Court in Central Oregon. An effort to create one has been going on for a number of years. for a variety of reasons, it has never gotten off the ground. Flaherty shared there is overwhelming support from the entire community. However, he added, we do not have the judicial resources. In 2006, it was determined that the circuit court in Central Oregon should have nine judges and we only had seven. Eight years later, we still only have seven. So, we don’t have the resources to have a Vet Court. Futher it appears they are doing their best to identify vets who are in the legal system. But, veterans don’t always identify themselves as veterans. When a vet is identified, they ensure that they are getting all the services that they are entitled to under the VA and a mentor to be with them through the process. The DA’s office has undertaken efforts to tap into grant money. But, that wouldn’t be able to be used to put more judges on the bench which is the heart of the problem.
This has even become one of the District Attorney election issues between Flaherty and his rival candidate, John Hummel. See the Bulletin article, ” DA candidates spar over veterans court“
One day, there will be a Vet Court. How soon that is appears to be anybody’s guess.