Greenwood City Court Judge Lewis Gregory sees veterans arrested for misdemeanor crimes, such as possession of narcotics and battery. He believes many of them would not have committed the crimes had they gotten treatment for service-related conditions.
Veterans can suffer from depression, PTSD or traumatic brain injuries, and Gregory thinks they either don’t realize they need counseling or don’t know where to get it.
Without counseling, the veterans can become repeat offenders, spending much of their lives on probation or in jail, according to Justice for Vets, a nonprofit organization.
However, a new program through the Greenwood City Court aims to help veterans who are charged with misdemeanor crimes and low-level felonies get the counseling they need. The program, which is accepting participants, will set veterans up with the Department of Veterans Affairs for counseling and hold them to stricter probation rules, such as visiting a probation officer daily and meeting with Gregory every other week.