VETERANS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

The Veteran's Assistance Program really opened my eyes.  I am proud to say that, with the help I received during the program, I have not had a drink in over two years.

Air Force Veteran, 71

 

The Veterans Assistance Program seeks to provide access to justice for veterans, to seek solutions, treatment, and diversion rather than punishment, and to offer the necessary support to help veterans lead stable, law-abiding, and healthy lives as positive and productive members of this community. 

 

WHAT IS THE VETERANS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?

The Veterans Assistance Program (VAP) is a voluntary diversion program which seeks to provide solutions to legal issues faced by veterans.  Eligible participants are veterans who have been charged primarily with non-violent misdemeanors.  The Veterans Assistance Program provides a multidisciplinary approach and strives to connect veterans with the services, programs, and benefits that they have earned. 

CASE REFERRAL CATEGORIES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Misdemeanor Drug Use Offenses

  • Traffic Offenses

  • Under the Influence

  • Petty Theft

  • Disturbing the Peace

  • Disorderly Conduct

  • Aggravated Menacing

 

Referrals from the above categories must be pre-screened and in conformance with the criteria set forth by the Veterans Assistance Program. 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Upon entering the criminal justice system, the veteran should identify themselves as such to the presiding judge or court staff.  If the judge and prosecutor deem the matter appropriate, the case may be referred to the Veterans Assistance Program.  The veteran will then be directed to contact the VAP within three court days to schedule a screening and assessment.   If the veteran is found to be eligible, an individualized case plan will be created.  

 

VAP MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Volunteer mentors provide support and guidance to the veterans as they navigate the program.  Mentors are veterans or active service members who donate their time and knowledge to help another in need.  Mentors and mentees are matched based on branch of service, age, gender, ethnicity, or like interests. 

VETERANS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FAQS

Q:  Does participation in the Veterans Assistance Program mean that the criminal charges will be dismissed?

A:  No.  Participation in the VAP does not guarantee a reduction or dismissal of any charges.  This decision is within the sole discretion of the referring court.  The goal of the VAP is to focus on the issues that may have led to the commission of the crime to help prevent recidivism. 

Q:  Are veteran diversion court programs successful?

A:  Studies suggest that diversion court programs do work.  According to the Ohio State Bar Association, only 10% of veterans who participated in a court diversion program reoffended. 

Q:  What will my case plan be like?

A:  Each case plan is created with the needs of the individual in mind.  The VAP takes a holistic approach by considering all the issues faced by the veteran.  Case plans may include: counseling, rehabilitation, educational programs, random drug/alcohol screens and reporting requirements.  Case plans vary in  length, and the time needed to complete the program is determined on a case-by-case basis. 

PARTICIPATING COURTS

Girard Municipal Court

Judge Jeffrey D. Adler

 

Newton Falls Municipal Court

Judge Philip M. Vigorito

Niles Municipal Court

Judge Christopher J. Shaker

Trumbull County Court - Eastern District

Judge Marty D. Nosich

Trumbull County Court - Central District

Judge Thomas A. Campbell

Warren Municipal Court

Judge Thomas P. Gysegem

Judge Terry F. Ivanchak

SUPPORTED BY THE TRUMBULL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Mauro Cantalamessa

Frank S. Fuda

Daniel E. Polivka

For further information, contact:

TRUMBULL COUNTY VETERANS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Amie Jo Prezioso,

Case Manager

330-675-2521

TRUMBULL COUNTY PROBATE COURT

COURTHOUSE, FIRST FLOOR\

161 HIGH STREET NW

WARREN, OHIO 44481

TEL:  330-675-2521

FAX:  330-675-3024

© 2016  Trumbull County Probate Court