For immediate release:
Jan. 23, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Legislation to allow for a veterans' treatment court pilot program was endorsed today by the Indiana House of Representatives, thanks to the work of Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon (D-Munster).
The language creating the court was included in House Bill 1016, which was approved with a 91-1 vote. The measure now moves to the Indiana Senate for consideration.
Candelaria Reardon’s proposal for a veterans' treatment court would redirect existing resources for veterans. The problem solving court would provide veterans with a means of addressing their unique needs.
“Veterans return from serving our country with a whole host of issues, such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), marital problems, depression, homelessness and unemployment,” said Candelaria Reardon. “Often they choose to self-medicate these conditions with drugs, leading them right into our criminal justice system.”
Rather than penalizing people, the program would offer necessary counseling and referrals.
Additionally, this proposal promises cost savings in the operation of overcrowded county jails. Based on December data, Candelaria Reardon said Lake County’s jail could save more than $33,000 per month.
“This amendment benefits those who have made such a difference in our lives by serving our country,” Reardon said. “It ensures they get the help they need at a time when they need it most.
“I was delighted to see that this legislation garnered strong support from both sides of the aisle. It shows this is a bipartisan issue,” she concluded.