If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! Those of you familiar with the work of our firm know that we have been working passionately and closely with members of the regional veteran’s court, various City of Phoenix criminal justice personnel, and groups sympathetic to veteran’s issues to persuade the City of Scottsdale to host its own veteran’s court. We have attended the last several years’ worth of Veteran’s Day proceedings, met with vets from as far back as World War II, and even started a signed petition supporting a Scottsdale Veteran’s Court by Scottsdale residents. The goal is simple: Vets in Scottsdale have faced many life-altering situations encountered during their service, and a court should be enacted to assist them like those established in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson.
We are extraordinarily pleased to announce that as of August 30, 2016, the Scottsdale City Council approved a Veteran’s Court for vets facing misdemeanor charges in the City of Scottsdale! Scottsdale has officially joined the East Valley Regional Veterans’ Court based out of Tempe, as well as the one in Phoenix that has existed for years in attempting to resolve cases in a more rehabilitative manner. While many details are left up in the air, the court was set to hear cases involving Scottsdale vets as of October 20th.
Previous attempts for a Scottsdale Veteran’s Court were stifled by some local entities, citing a lack of funding in the city’s budget. However, as argued vehemently here on our blog before, one of the most spectacular things about veterans court is the relatively low cost of operation and number of dollars ultimately saved in diverting these cases out of the regular system. The Scottsdale veteran’s court is only projected to raise costs by about $6,800 during the first fiscal year for the employment of pro-tem judges.
With Veteran’s Day around the corner, this monumental announcement could not have come at a more appropriate time. We are hopeful but still taking a “wait and see” approach due to the indifference seen over the last three years. However, with the right mindset and mission, the implementation of justice in a Scottsdale Veteran’s Court literally has the ability to save lives. On behalf of everyone who has been instrumental in continuing to advocate for vets and fight for their rights in Scottsdale, thank you! Our vets did not give up on us, and now Scottsdale is finally showing that we have not given up on them!