Sunday, December 28, 2014

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Rochester

Monroe County Veterans Court Mentors Honored

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People who mentor veterans to navigate through a new court system in Monroe County were honored Monday for their service.

The Monroe County Veterans Court started early this year.

The men and women going before Judge Patricia Marks all have served their country. They are non-violent offenders facing shoplifting, drugs or weapons charges.

Fellow vets help them through the system.

"When they come away from standing in front of the judge and being all shook up, they can just take a breath and talk about where they really are. And maybe it's something they couldn't say in there, but something they can say with someone who has that kinship with them," said Jim Lachman, mentor.

"They come home from the war with all the goblins in their mind of all the killing and other stuff. And easiest thing to do is self-medicate drinking or smoking pot or whatever they do. And unfortunately get caught up in the legal system. They don't belong in the county jail or Attica or someplace like that. They deserve a second chance," said Ken Moore, also a mentor.

Veterans court is similar to drug court or mental health court where participants can avoid jail time by following through on recommended treatment.

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