East Stroudsburg, Monroe County - There's a new court program designed to serve military veterans. Magisterial District Justice Michael Muth said it will provide rehabilitation rather than demand incarceration. He added, "I think everybody has a warm spot in their heart for veterans who come in and are having difficulty readjusting when they come out of the military."
Magistrate Muth helped start the Veterans Court program in Monroe County. It offers an alternative to jail or paying fines. Muth added, "You're more worried about stopping problems in the future and that's the way I'd like to be more proactive."
The program is not for serious crimes like murder or rape. It is for people who commit summary offenses. Muth explained, "Those are things like public intoxication, harassment, disorderly conduct, retail theft, non traffic offenses, minor offenses."
Program participants will work with the Veterans Administration to get any help they need. It could include things like mental health care or drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Muth noted, "Eventually if they complete the programs that the Veterans Administration has set up for them, the charges will be turned back to the Magisterial District Courts and the charges will be dismissed."