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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Judge Bob Cline Announces Lawrence County Veterans Court is Officially Recognized

LAWRENCE COUNTY- JUNE 7 - 2022 - Lawrence County Superior Court II Judge Bob Cline announced this morning that the Indiana Supreme Court has officially recognized the Lawrence County Veterans Court.

Honorable Lawrence County Superior Court II Judge Bob Cline

The Veterans Court allows eligible participants the opportunity to have their charges dismissed, be granted reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor, or to have a further sentenced imposed by agreeing to complete a substance abuse/mental health treatment program, remain alcohol and drug free, meet with a veteran mentor and complete other program requirements as determined by the Veterans Court team.

The program must be completed in its entirety. Those who may be eligible for participation are offenders who served in the armed forces and received an Honorable discharge or General discharge, as well as any offender who served in the National Guard or Reserves with service in a foreign war or conflict and received an Honorable or General discharge. However, one must not have a Level 1 0r Level 2 felony or A felonies. Forcible offenses and current or past sex offenses are not eligible.

Honorable Lawrence County Superior Court II Judge Bob Cline

" I am very happy with today's news, to be able to help those who have served. These individuals started down a wrong path and we are wanting to get them on back to being productive citizens again," said Judge Cline.

Judge Cline has worked in trying to get this program implemented in Lawrence County prior to becoming a Judge. Cline being a veteran himself seen the importance of helping those who served and found their way into the legal system.

" I am excited about the news, the veteran problem solving, work similar as domestic violence problem solving court, and problem-solving court for drug offenses. These individuals done something for us, and it's time we do something for them," said Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II.

According to Cline 100 percent of those who have entered into the criminal system suffered from PTSD. The goal is to get them back into families, providing them care and support to work towards their goals to accomplish this.

"These men signed up during a time of war wanting to serve our country. These men have all seen combat, and it's time we give them a lift up," said Cline.

Four of the veterans taking part in the program have served either in Iran, Irag or Afghanistan wars. One of the veterans is disabled, cannot do the physical work we all do, but has been doing other to be a productive member of society,"

Two are Army veterans and two have served as Marines according to Cline.

" We want to thank the Lawrence County community and businesses who have supported this program. One veteran went from 130 pounds to 190 pounds of muscle," Cline added.

One of the veterans was an electrician and a local electrician allowed a participant to work with their company.

The program takes eight months to two years to complete. The participant learns coping skills, and work through some of the issues that they have experienced.

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Located at 1416 James Avenue Bedford, Indiana

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