Assemblyman Steve Stern Supports Legislation to Increase Access to Veterans Courts

Problem Solving Courts also serve victims of Domestic Violence, those with Mental Health challenges and provide alternatives to Incarceration

Huntington, NY – Assemblyman Steve Stern (D-10th AD) announced that legislation he co-sponsored to extend authority to create Veterans Courts to every county in New York State passed the Assembly. These courts provide specialized services, including counseling, treatment and alternatives to incarceration for offenders and provide greater opportunity for rehabilitation and reintegration into our communities. Veterans’ courts have been proven to be very effective in providing individualized services to offenders while balancing the critical goal of protecting public safety and ensuring that offenders do not receive a “free pass.”

“As a member of the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee and as former Chairman of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Veterans Committee, I have had first-hand experience with the very successful Veterans Court model,” Assemblyman Stern said. The Veterans Court specifically addresses the unique and serious challenges faced by our troops upon their return home. Many have served multiple deployments and many suffer from Post- Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury. “Some find themselves in the criminal justice system because of difficulty re-integrating into civilian life and these courts provide them with a much needed second chance,” Assemblyman Stern said. These special courts reduce incarceration but have clearly delineated policies to ensure that public safety is not compromised. They enable our Veterans to return to civilian life without criminal records that may seriously impede their ability to obtain jobs, student loans to further their education and vital VA benefits.

“I am proud to join with my Assembly colleagues to expand Suffolk County’s highly successful Problem-Solving Courts model statewide. These programs will make a meaningful difference all across our state.”