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Cole County creating veterans’ treatment court

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Another Missouri county is establishing a special program to help military veterans who facing certain criminal charges get special assistance as an alternative to jail or prison.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1pW0i5j ) the veterans’ treatment court being established in Cole County will be the seventh in the state and the second in central Missouri.

Veterans’ courts in Missouri typically accept veterans who are charged with low-level offenses and pass a screening. They receive treatment through the Veterans Administration for problems such as service-related mental health and substance abuse issues.

Judge Pat Joyce of the 19th Judicial Circuit said Wednesday that officials in neighboring Osage and Morgan counties have agreed to refer qualifying veterans to the Cole County program.