Given budget constraints (a phrase pretty much everyone should have on auto-fill), it might not happen this year, or it might get its start as part of the mental health court. A new state law allows Texas counties to set up such a thing, which would be similar to various other “problem-solving” courts (the ones that deal with drug offenders and mental health issues and so on), and a presentation should hit county commissioners’ desks in the next few weeks. As more veterans return home, it’s an idea whose time has come. And criminal judges look forward to the option.
“There are some dynamics affecting veterans that probably don’t affect the general population,” says Judge Brent Carr, who presides over County Criminal Court No. 9 and the county’s mental health court. “None of these programs can be all-comers. You have to be talented enough to pick the right person with the length of the program and the resources you have available so that they can successfully complete the program. You can’t treat the sociopath because that’s always going to be part of their personality.”