Northampton County plans on starting a Veterans Treatment Court (also called veterans or veterans problem-solving courts in Pennsylvania) in the Fall of 2023. It is a type of diversion, specialty court that its Court of Common Pleas can offer, and it has been years in the making. Good on those who made it happen.
People talk about veterans justice. This is one of the better ways, and it has proved itself worth the effort elsewhere. Unfortunately, other judicial districts in Pennsylvania have been slow to come on board. This movement, so to speak, has been going on at least since about 2008, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s SAMSHA first pushed it through the mechanism of grants. But the movement had begun well before that. Started in January 2008, Judge Robert Russell’s court in Buffalo, New York, is often cited as the model. Yet, in Pennsylvania, only 25 districts had picked up the baton since.
One can only hope that Lehigh County will soon follow — or go in with Northampton County, as is allowed by Pennsylvania law (42 Pa C.S. 916). For a few more details, read this WDIY article.