For Immediate Release - November 12, 2014

Veterans to Graduate from Norfolk Veterans Treatment Court in Dedham

Today nine veterans will graduate from the Norfolk Veterans Treatment Court in Dedham District Court, the day after the country officially recognized Veterans Day.  The veterans have all successfully completed 12- to 24-months on probation in the post-disposition court session, and have all undergone intensive probation supervision and treatment of any underlying mental health or addiction issues. The graduates, all combat veterans, have served in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, National Guard, or the U.S. Marine Corps, and have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, or were deployed to serve in Operation Desert Storm.

Dedham District Court Judge Mary Hogan Sullivan, who presides over the session, will lead the Norfolk Veterans Treatment Court graduation. Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, District Court Chief Justice Paul Dawley and Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence will be at the ceremony, together with state legislators and Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey.

The court session is structured with a team of court staff and external partners who have been trained by the National Drug Court Institute, and include a presiding judge, probation officer, prosecutor, defense attorney, volunteer mentor, veterans justice outreach coordinator, police detective, clerk, and treatment coordinator.

Dedham District Court was the first in Massachusetts to hold a veterans treatment session in 2012. Building on the success of that court session, a Veterans Treatment Court session started in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court in 2013, with the support of the City of Boston.

There are now 29 specialty courts in Massachusetts, including the two Veterans Treatment Courts. The Trial Court aims to add six new specialty court sessions across the state in the coming year. Funding for specialty courts comes from an FY 2015 $3 million budget allocation from the state legislature.

Wednesday, November 12th
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Dedham District Court, 631 High Street, Dedham