The Pennsylvania Courts have announced the establishment of a Regional Veterans Treatment Court which will serve eight central Pennsylvania counties. The Court is anticipated to begin proceedings in early 2024.
Currently, Blair, Clinton, Centre and Mifflin counties host treatment courts within their judicial districts – and among them, only Clinton County has an existing veterans court program.
The new Regional Veterans Court initiative aims to extend this crucial support to previously underserved areas. The inclusion of Huntingdon, Perry, Juniata and Clearfield counties will expand the veterans treatment court network to cover 32 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.
“The creation of the Regional Veterans Court underscores our commitment to ensuring that our veterans receive the specialized treatment they rightfully deserve. By extending court services to these additional counties, we are taking a significant step towards supporting justice involved veterans’ rehabilitation and successful reintegration into their communities,” said Chief Justice Debra Todd.
Blair County Court of Common Pleas Judge Wade Kagarise and Clinton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Salisbury will both preside over the new regional court.
“The collaboration among our counties exemplifies the power of partnership in effectuating positive change. By unifying our efforts, we are sending a clear message about our commitment to honoring veterans’ contributions and aiding them in overcoming obstacles on their path to recovery,” said Salisbury.
“This expansion reflects a dedication to addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by veterans, fostering rehabilitation and encouraging reintegration into society,” said Kagarise.
“It’s an honor to preside over a court that represents a profound commitment to my fellow veterans and a deep belief in their potential to thrive once more.”
The Regional Veterans Court will provide access to a range of essential services, including mental health resources, treatment for substance use disorder, counseling and other necessary forms of support tailored to veterans’ specific needs.
This initiative acknowledges the sacrifices made by veterans and aims to provide them with a supportive environment where they can rebuild their lives and regain a sense of purpose.
Pennsylvania currently has 25 county Veterans Court programs, the first of which opened in Lackawanna County in November of 2009.
More information about Pennsylvania’s Veterans Treatment Courts is available on the PA Courts’ Web site, Facebook and Twitter.