2012-03-29 / Local & State

Western Pa. County Considers Veterans Court

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A western Pennsylvania county is considering setting up a new specialty court for veterans.

Tom Shea, director of Blair County’s Adult Parole and Probation Office, told The Altoona Mirror that officials are trying to determine if such a court is needed to help veterans deal with issues that land them in the criminal justice system.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus Mc- Caffery testified last week in favor of a U.S. House bill to provide money for such courts. He and Justice Ronald Castille note that the commonwealth has more than 1 million veterans.

The first Pennsylvania court for nonviolent criminal defendants who are veterans was established in Pittsburgh several years ago, and there are now similar courts in Philadelphia and seven other communities with five more considering the idea.

Return to top