BOZEMAN – Veterans Court has been brought to Gallatin County. After many Montana cities have seen success with the program, many people here are eager to see what the program can do for our community.
“Gallatin County has the highest amount of veterans in the state, and we are second highest in the country for per capita veterans. So having this many veterans in this community, we really do believe it will be helpful and it’s really necessary,” said Municipal Court Judge Colleen Herrington.
The goal of the treatment court is to give veterans a structured plan to get them out of the court system and back into the community. Other veterans courts throughout Montana focus on felony charges. The Gallatin County treatment court, however, will take misdemeanors and felonies.
“Not only will we have the misdemeanors from our court which we can do per-conviction, but we can take cases from other courts like Justice Court or other counties like Madison County or Park County,” said Herrington.
Another important component of Veterans Court that makes it different is the mentor program.
“So if they have any questions about the court system, like what’s next, we will answer those as well as any community services we can provide them,” said Mentor Coordinator Len Albright.
For many veterans that have gone through treatment court in other counties, their mentor becomes a shoulder to lean on as well as someone to lift them up.
“We’re in it with them, right from the beginning to graduation, and we really want to make sure they succeed and we will do everything we can to help them,” Albright said.
Veterans Court will officially begin on Feb. 6.
If you are interested in becoming a Veterans Court Mentor, you can contact Len Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting by Morgan Davies for MTN News