New Court System in Miami-Dade to Help Veterans

A new court is now hearing cases in Miami-Dade, and the defendants all have one important thing in common— they're all veterans.

Elliot Lovett served his country in the army, but battled a different war when he cane home.

"I had an episode with PTSD, flashbacks or whatever," he said.

Post-traumatic stress disorder caused the veteran to live a life of crime, but the court system is looking to help veterans like Lovett with something new.

The new veterans treatment court intends to provide rehab services for veterans charged with non violent crimes who suffer from mental health and substance abuse disorders.

"We hope that they will become healthy citizens participating citizens in our community and law abiding citizens, which protects all of us," said Marisa Tinkler Mendez, associate administrative judge.

The 11th Judicial Circuit Court received a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to support the veterans treatment court.

Judges say this treatment court took over five years to complete. For veterans like Lovett, the new system means a new start for another chapter in their lives.

"This program is going to help a lot of veterans, and I'm just one of them," Lovett said. "One of the first, one of the few."

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