Special courts aim to keep vets out of jail
COLUMBIA, S.C. — When a knee injury left him on disability and reliant on pain medication, Army veteran Clarence Johnson hit a wall. Out of his prescription drugs, the New York City native was arrested during a visit to South Carolina last year after buying narcotics on the street.
Johnson was facing up to two years in jail.
But under a new program for veterans facing some nonviolent crimes, Johnson was able to stay out of jail — and get off drugs, he hopes, for good.
Because of his military service — four years each in the Army and National Guard — Johnson, 55, was eligible for something called a veterans treatment court. They are set up like drug courts, which offer people facing nonviolent drug offenses a chance to stay out of jail as long as they comply with court-ordered attendance at rehab and meetings. The veterans courts give people with military service ways to get and stay connected with resources available through the Veterans Administration, like addiction treatment and counseling. To read entire article, please click here.