The Wyoming Veterans Commission worked with Governor, Matt Mead, to open up the first-ever veterans court for Laramie County. Larry Barttelbart (bar-tull-bart), executive director, said this new legal system could help troubled veterans avoid jail or prison.
Veterans who plead guilty to crimes will be diverted into VA rehabilitation programs or counseling, said Barttelbart. This would ultimately save the state money, since the VA operates on federal funds. He acknowledged that many people commit crimes due to alcoholism, trauma or depression, but he said he wanted to offer this alternative legal avenue for veterans especially.
Barttelbart said there are more than 80 veterans courts nationwide, but this is the first in the state. Depending on how it goes, the program may expand to other counties.