Create a Veterans' Diversion Court in Vermont

This petition made change with 88 supporters!

Petition to the Vermont Supreme Court:

We, the undersigned, support the Vermont Supreme Court creating a criminal diversion program for veterans in Vermont in order to address veteran-specific issues and to provide a cost-effective avenue for the veteran to seek treatment in lieu of incarceration.  We want the Court to exercise its’ authority under Ch. II, §§ 30 and 31, Vermont Constitution, to create such a program in the lower courts. 

Creating a veterans court has several benefits to society, and are particularly needed in Vermont due to the high concentration of veterans (1 out of every 12 Vermonters is a veteran).  These benefits include an increase in veterans who seek treatment for their service related disability; a reduction in incarceration and rehabilitation costs to the state; a decrease in recidivism; a reduction in prison overcrowding; an increase in accessibility and economic efficiency regarding the costs of rehabilitative programs for inmates; a reduction in the need for using private, for-profit prisons out of state; an increase in accessibility for the veteran to treatment; and a decrease in the heroine, domestic violence, and suicide epidemic amongst veterans. 

Forty other states have created some form of veteran criminal diversion program that emphasizes treatment for the veteran to address the issue that caused the criminal behavior in the first place.  All of these states have shown resounding success, and many have increased the scope of their program by expanding the veteran programs to other courts in their respective states.

For the above reasons we pray that the Vermont Supreme Court create a veteran’s court in Vermont.  In doing so, Vermont will join the ranks of the forty other states who have taken progressive measures on the issues of veterans and the criminal justice system, and will save Vermont taxpayer dollars.

Furthermore, a Veterans' Court in Vermont may aid in a reduction of Vermonters who are incarcerated in private, for-profit prisons in Kentucky, Michigan and Arizona.


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