Great job to the NY Veterans who are showing up to fight for their fellow veterans!
All veterans should be backing these types of legislative bills.
New York veterans are advocating that criminal courts statewide consider whether defendants who were in the U.S. military suffer from conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder that may have played a role in the offense.
The bill would allow them to be diverted into treatment.
Companion bills are pending in Senate and Assembly. Advocates want a prompt vote, with lawmakers scheduled to return Tuesday, already staying past their planned departure for the year to deal with other unfinished business like rent controls.
While New York has special courts in 17 counties assigned to deal with veterans’ cases, bill sponsors say a statewide uniform system is needed. They say research shows about half of veterans with symptoms of mental illness seek help, with many of them getting minimal treatment.
“The bill’s core process will lead veterans to treatment, family restorations, and once again become productive members of society,” said John Pemrick Lewis, a Navy veteran and member of the state council of veterans’ organizations. They’re calling for an up-or-down vote this session, he said.
More than a dozen veterans came to Albany on Monday to support the legislation. Many acknowledged that the evaluations they got for psychological issues when leaving the military were inadequate.
This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to follow on Twitter