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Texas courts specialized court for veterans on the road

  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 photo, U.S. Army Veteran Richard Ress, right, speaks during a bible group meeting at his rural church in Grayson County, Texas. Tug participates in a traveling veterans court Judge John Roach Jr. The travelling court serves veterans in five counties near Dallas that do not have transportation. Veterans say the opportunity is life-changing. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    (Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 photo, Judge John Roach Jr., left, speaks to a lawyer during a hearing in McKinney, Texas. Instead of veterans having to travel to the courtroom, Roach Jr’s court travels to them. The travelling court serves veterans in five counties near Dallas that do not have transportation. Veterans say the opportunity is life-changing. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    (Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 photo, U.S. Army Veteran Richard Ress, right, speaks, while he volunteers at his rural church in Grayson County, Texas. Tug participates in a traveling veterans court Judge John Roach Jr. The travelling court serves veterans in five counties near Dallas that do not have transportation. Veterans say the opportunity is life-changing. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    (Associated Press)

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ANNA, Texas – Texas right-to do something novel in the relatively new world of courts that are designed specifically for military veterans.

Instead of veterans having to travel to the courtroom, John Roach, Jr. s court travels to them. The travelling court serves veterans in five counties near Dallas that do not have transportation. Veterans say the opportunity is life-changing.

The judge says the court, is the first of its kind. He hopes it will be replicated in other rural areas without public transport, where the hearings can be a challenge.

The three-phase program requires substance-abuse treatment, drug and alcohol testing, therapy, counseling, and community service. As veterans graduate, their criminal charges are dismissed and their arrest records destroyed.

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