Fifteen Veterans Graduate From Veteran's Court Program

  • 1/16/2019 5:37:27 PM
  • Jenna Ramolt
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - Fifteen veterans received a certificate, a coin, and a fresh start Wednesday afternoon when they graduated from the Veteran's Court Program. 

Since 2009 the Veteran's Court Program has been assisting veterans in getting their lives back on track after service, addiction, or other circumstances. It is a voluntary program that provides supervision of offenders that involves regular hearings with the judge, home visits, curfew checks, drug tests, and communication with treatment providers. One year of treatment is required, and it is broken up into four phases corresponding to individual development.

The program was the first of its kind in Ohio, and only the third in the United States. It was developed to reduce crime, incarceration, and recidivism by linking veterans to necessary services, representatives, and veteran peer mentors who will educate and assist them in obtaining benefits and support services.

"Veterans are very unique, they have served their country, many of them have been overseas, many have not come back intact," said Lorie Fourhman, a Municipal Court Mentor Coordinator. "That transition is not always smooth... it is often painful for the individual, for the veterans and their families. But being able to assist them back... I mean, they've served their country. And for an opportunity for us to be able to serve them, to get them back whole again, is really important."

Wednesday's graduation ceremony was for fifteen individuals who finished the program: Alex P. Adkins, Larry Black, Henricias Crusoe, Joseph Debo, Robert Fuller, Fount Jones, Thomas Mess, Chester Millheim, Nathaniel Roddy, Joseph Schokatz, Steven Soria, Jonathan Werner, Kenneth West and Don White.

The graduates received their certificates at 12:00 PM Wednesday at the Mansfield Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge. The festivities included food, commemorative coins, and special guest speaker J. Ken Estep, Executive Director of the Richland County Veterans Service Commission.

As of 2018, the Veteran's Court has served over 230 participants, 155 of whom have successfully completed the program.

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