Council approves cash for Veterans Court

A new Veteran’s Court in Bartholomew has received an infusion of cash from the state.

Superior Court I Judge Jim Worton appeared before the Bartholomew County Council Tuesday night to request an additional appropriation of $44,751. That money, said Worton, is from the Indiana Judicial Center. He says that the county requested approximately $66,000, but the court is pleased with what was received. Worton added that the money received will go towards supplementing county funds used to pay probation officers. He also said that the court will continue to apply for this money on a yearly basis, for as long as it is offered.

Worton explained that the Veterans Court is aimed at helping those who served in the United State military. He explained that the court is aimed at those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other issues associated with PTSD, like addiction. “If but for their service to our country,” said Judge Worton, “they would most likely not be involved in the criminal justice system.” He went on to say that the overall goal of the court is to help return affected veterans to the lives they enjoyed before their run-ins with the criminal justice system. Worton explains that the court is doing great things in getting help to those who need it. The court has a line in to the Veterans Administration, which is represented at each vet’s hearing, said Worton.

There are 24 Veterans Courts in Indiana, said Worton. Sixteen of those courts are certified, he said. Judge Worton added that Bartholomew County’s court is provisionally certified. He says that a full certification is coming in the next several months. According to Worton, this court, which meets the second and fourth Thursday of every Month, covers veterans in Bartholomew, Decatur, Jennings, Jackson and Brown Counties. He notes that this is the only Veterans Court in this Judicial District.

The council unanimously approved the additional appropriation, noting that it won’t cost the county any additional money.