Friday, October 31, 2014

Letter to the Editor - Why I am voting for Judge Hugh Swift from Caroline Schirato

During a recent conversation with Judge Swift, he learned that I had served in the US Navy for four years towards the end of the first Gulf War. He was excited to tell me about the new initiative to create a Veterans Treatment Court in Calaveras County. I had not heard of this program before, so he explained to me how it would work and who it would serve.
A Veterans Treatment Court provides an alternative to the traditional sentencing choices of standard probation or incarceration.  When a veteran is charged with a crime which stems from a disorder related to their service in the military - mental health issues, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury and PTSD, the veteran may be offered to participate in a program consisting of therapeutic treatment, social services, and judicial oversight. The court seeks to give veterans a chance to get their lives back on track by addressing the problems underlying their criminal behavior. I believe this is a vital program needed in not just our county, but nation-wide. This is another positive and much needed step in helping our veterans once they are discharged and home.

Judge Swift, along with many county agencies, is working towards creating this program for veterans in Calaveras County. Thank you for seeing the importance in this issue. Thank you for supporting another positive program for those who served our country. I am voting for Judge Swift because he is passionate about the Veterans Treatment Court and how those who qualify for it will benefit will benefit from it. I urge my fellow veterans to vote for Judge Swift. We need more elected officials who care about supporting veteran programs!

Caroline Schirato