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      KC sets up court for veterans

      A special division of the Kansas City Municipal Court provides alternatives to military veterans who commit nonviolent offenses.

      A special division of the Kansas City Municipal Court provides alternatives to military veterans who commit nonviolent offenses.

      Kansas City launched its Veterans Treatment Court in 2009, modeling it after the Veterans Treatment Court that began a year earlier in Buffalo, N.Y., city court. That program provides alternatives to jail time to military veterans who commit nonviolent offenses. Qualified veterans receive counseling or other assistance.

      The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1dEJsTg) that veterans suffering from drug abuse and mental health issues appear on a special municipal docket. After going through a screening and assessment by the court, veterans participate in a 12-month treatment program instead of going to trial.

      About 80 veterans have graduated from the program so far.