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Officials in Warren consider veterans court

Associated Press

BOWLING GREEN - Officials in Warren County are considering setting up a special court for veterans who have landed in the criminal justice system.

The courts are typically designed like drug courts, where treatment is used to help veterans avoid incarceration.

The first such court in Kentucky was established in Jefferson County about a year ago, and Hardin County followed after that.

Fayette and Christian counties have also carved out slots from their drug courts to establish veterans courts.

"Fifteen years ago, we would periodically have (veterans) in our court systems," Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron told the Daily News in Bowling Green.

"Obviously, since the length of time that we have had people in combat zones and returning, we have seen both men and women veterans, unfortunately, enter into the criminal justice system. Obviously, as troops are drawing down, we are seeing more and more individuals.

We are going to be dealing with more and more veterans having to adapt to civilian life as time continues on."

There were 481 defendants who identified themselves as veterans in the Warren County court system between July 2010 and February, and 170 of those said they had seen combat.

That's out of about 16,700 defendants who were arrested and booked into jail during that same time.

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