Oregon's first veterans court is celebrating a 3 year anniversary today.
A.J. Davis graduated from Klamath County's veterans court today...
"I never had to go to any kind of court before - so I didn't know what to expect. But veterans court has been a blessing."
The veterans court strives to provide treatment, instead of punishment...But, veterans court is not a 'get out of jail free' card.
The vets must plead 'guilty' to their charges, and accept the terms of their treatment.
Klamath County Circuit Court Judge Marci Adkisson notes that not all violations are eligible...
"Sex offenses are one, measure 11's are another. Pretty much after that we'll work with almost anybody if they are willing to be part of the program."
When the program began 3 years ago, organizers hoped to reduce the number of repeat offenders to 15%.
"It looks like we're on track." Says Klamath County Treatment Court Coordinator Steve Tillson. "So far, none of our program graduates have committed a new offense."
So far, 25 people have graduated from veterans court...and Judge Adkisson says she's pleased...
"When I drive into Klamath County, it says: 'Klamath - we honor veterans' We really do honor veterans."
A.J. Davis showed her gratitude to the court by making a quilt...
"It's just been a great experience."
There are currently about 3 dozen vets on the veterans court docket.
Klamath County's veterans court was the first of its kind in Oregon.
Veterans courts have since been established in Lane, and Marion counties.