Veteran Offenders Get Second Chance

March 14, 2012 Updated: March 14, 2012

NEW YORK—Five veterans proved that second chances really do work as they attended their graduation ceremony from the Queens Veterans Court program on Monday. They were the first veterans to graduate from the program, which was established in December 2010.

Each of the veterans pled guilty to varying felony charges approximately a year ago, but instead of receiving prison time, they were allowed to participate in the Queens Veterans Court program. The program aims to offer an alternative to prison for nonviolent veterans. In lieu of incarceration, the veterans are given support from both medical and community services for conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a common illness among veterans returning from war.

“Our returning veterans deserve not only our gratitude and our praise, but our support, as well,” Queens District Attorney Brown said in a statement. “Some have, unfortunately, brought back with them deep emotional and psychological scars as a result of their experiences.”

Nearly 40 veterans have been put into the program since its establishment.