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Sunday May 24th, 2015 7:23AM

Hall Commission moves closer to set up of veterans court

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - Hall County will be adding one more facet to its accountability courts if grant monies come through as anticipated.

County commissioners are expected to okay a full slate of grant applications for DUI and Drug Courts when they meet on Wednesday evening. But, there's a newer grant up for discussion that will fund a Veterans' Court at both the State and Superior Courts in Hall County.

County Resource Development Manager Jessica Robinson assured commissioners at a Monday afternoon work session the chance was high for receiving a $200,000 grant from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC)for FY 2015.

Even though county staff will not complete the grant application until this week, commissioners agreed to spend just over $14,000 to go ahead with the hiring of a Veterans' Court coordinator.

"We are going to start working on the Veterans' Court now," said Robinson. "We'll hire a coordinator and start working to identify [veterans] and get the court up and going."

Robinson said if the county does receive this grant, as well as another that strictly applies to State Court, then the full funding would be available in July or August.

A Veterans' Court is similar to other Accountability Courts in that it identifies and serves veterans who may have run into lower level trouble with the law (DUI, drug offenses, etc.), and the programs in the court serve to keep offenders from returning to jail. Robinson said that saves taxpayer dollars.

NOTE: The Hall County Commission will meet in regular session Wednesday, March 12 this week. Meeting time is 6 p.m. at the County Government Center."
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