Ramsey County Veterans Court celebrates 5-year anniversary

February 06, 2019 06:25 PM

The Ramsey County Veterans Treatment Court celebrated its five-year anniversary this week.

Attorneys, judges, volunteers and veterans all gathered to celebrate a program that is often a pathway for keeping veterans who have gotten into trouble out of jail. 

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That includes veterans like John Edward Lopez. He was arrested and caught with meth. He said he was facing 5-to-10 years.  

But a representative of the Veteran's Treatment Court told him about the county's volunteer program. He signed up in 2016 and followed the program.

"If it wasn't for the drug court, I don't know where I'd be right now," he said.

St. Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson is also a Lt. Colonel in the Minnesota National Guard. So she understands how a veteran could get off track and need help. 

That's where the court makes a difference.

"It's about rehabilitation," Olson said. "It's about offering people who served our country a second chance." 

There are currently 15 participants enrolled. 

Since the program started five years ago, 41 of the 58 people who have signed up have graduated.

And the court said none of them have reoffended.


 

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Paul Folger

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