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Meeting Tackles Veteran Incarceration

4-25 veteran incarcerationEUGENE, Ore. — Oregon leads the nation in veteran incarceration.

Friday night veterans came together at a town hall meeting aimed to tackle the delicate issue.

Veterans at the meeting agreed a lot of service men and women need help when they come back home from overseas and the Veterans Treatment Court gives them options.

Lane County Circuit Court Judge Suzanne Chanti talked about some of the facts with veteran incarceration.

Veterans make up 19 percent of all state prisons in Oregon.

The Veterans Treatment Court here in Lane County began in 2011, and helps veterans who are facing felony or misdemeanor charges.

It offers substance abuse treatment, mental health resources, education and job placement.

Veterans say service men and women often have more than one problem when they return home.

“We grew up in a whole different bunch of circumstances than the newer veterans do today. And we understand. We’re brothers,” said veteran Thad Lukasik.

“Hopefully this veterans thing here will help veterans that are about to incarcerated a way out and get a new start on their life,” said veteran Ira Mosteller.

“The people in the system do not understand where a lot of veterans are coming from so there we just need somebody in the system that knows what’s going on,” said veteran Norman Mosteller.

Once veterans complete the program they receive a dismissal of certain criminal charges.

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