LAPORTE COUNTY | Some veterans who commit crimes and who exhibit behaviors linked to a military-related ailment will be offered treatment options in lieu of jail time.
A Veterans Treatment Court is being established in LaPorte County to reach out primarily to repeat offenders whose actions stem from their military service.
"It's a matter of taking care of the issue," said LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi.
He said offenders will be waived into veterans court if they commit low level felonies and misdemeanors and their actions are linked directly to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
If they plead guilty, Szilagyi said veterans will be allowed to go home but they must enter at least a 12-month program that includes counseling and psychiatric treatment to correct their respective issue.
Unsuccessful completion of the program will result in a judge reverting to traditional sentencing procedures, which could mean time behind bars.
Szilagyi said the target date for starting veterans court is April 1.