Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, of counsel in the Columbus office who prior to joining Vorys served for 16 years as a justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio, was the focus of a Daily Reporter story on veterans treatment courts. According to the story, Stratton’s efforts were instrumental in reforming Ohio’s criminal-justice system to better assist veterans who returned home with mental illnesses and substance abuse issues.
The story states:
“The first step in Stratton’s plan was to establish the Veterans Justice Outreach, a program that places a case worker in every VA hospital.
Judges can then call upon those case workers to come into court, establish that a defendant is a veteran, verify what services are available for that veteran, book appointments with the proper doctors, and even book transportation to and from those appointments.”
The story also highlighted how veterans treatment courts work, stating:
“Last spring Ohio had established six veterans treatment courts — that number has grown to 14 and Stratton said that number continues to climb.
Right now, she said, any court can be a vet court if it labels itself as such, but they have to be certified to become an official veteran treatment court, meaning Ohio could have more than 14 courts using the program that have not yet completed certification.
She also emphasized that a veteran treatment court is not a separate court, but is a docket organization tool that helps judges schedule all of their veterans on the same day so that a VJO case worker can be present.
It also makes sense to keep these defendants together because Stratton said they tend to act differently than other defendants.
‘They’re more used to law and order and they’re used to command. They really are very motivated to get well, very respectful, they’re kind of a different breed and when you put them together it kind of helps,’ she said.”
To read the entire story, click here.