Veterans treatment court in Holyoke praised as help military servers deserve

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(MIKE PLAISANCE / THE REPUBLICAN)

By Mike Plaisance

The veterans treatment court here is society’s recognition that often the reason a veteran is facing a judge is because of trauma suffered defending the nation, speakers at a ceremony said Friday.

“Veterans fought for our freedom and now it’s our turn to fight for them,” said Judge Paula Carey, chief justice of the Massachusetts Trail Court.

Carey was among judges, district attorneys and others at the War Memorial at 310 Appleton St. heralding the Western Massachusetts Veterans Treatment Court, which opened in Holyoke District Court in November.

One of five veterans courts in the state, the goal of the program is to reintegrate veterans who have committed crimes and misdemeanors by honoring their military service with an effort to try helping them instead of locking them in a cell.

Veterans and their mentors, who are military veterans themselves, were asked to stand and receive standing ovations during the ceremony.

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