Bryan, Texas (KBTX) – Tuesday’s Commissioners’ Court meeting brought the next step in bringing Veterans Rehabilitation Courts and Mental Health Courts to Brazos County.
The Brazos County Commissioner has approved a commission resolution to consider the need for both veterans’ treatment courts and mental health courts. This new commission will also be responsible for assessing how the specialized courts work, their total costs, and finding individuals to serve there. Veterans Courts take into account the unique struggles faced by veterans, such as PTSD and substance abuse, when they find themselves on the other side of the law. Brazos County Judge Duane Peters said: , a mental health court said was also beneficial for addressing the rise in mental health-related problems.
Peters said the commissioner’s court needs a committee to move forward and help determine whether two specialized courts are needed.
“I’m not going to tell them how to get the facts out,” Peters said. “My idea is to first figure out how many veterans will be affected. ”
The commission is investigating potential veterans’ courts, but the commissioner has no plans to take any action, Peters said. The same applies to mental health courts.
“I also included mental health issues there, as you can see from everything I talked to prisons and Julie Anderson. There will be problems a few times, people who have problems in prison,” Peters said.
Ronnie Masterson, a local veteran and NAMI Brazos Valley veteran peer support specialist, said mental health issues often go untreated and affect many in the justice system. I’m here.
“It’s like the chicken or the egg,” Masterson said. “Mental health courts and veterans courts are absolutely necessary because mental health issues impact our ability to care for family members, work, and be independent.”
Bentley Nettles, an attorney, veteran, and purple heart, will chair the committee. Nettles said he hopes the committee will be open-minded about potential solutions.
“How should we think about trying to address this issue in creative ways that are least costly for taxpayers,” Nettles said. “I am really working with experts in these fields to come up with solutions that can be sustainable. I think it will dry up.”
As the commission considers introducing a veterans’ court to help keep veterans on track, Nettles hopes the commission can learn from the other 37 veterans’ courts in Texas. I’m in
“From the structured environment of the military to the unstructured environment of the civilian population, one of the problems we tend to have is the lack of structure,” Nettles said. Veterans Court gives them that structure and gives them a kick to get them back in the right direction.”
Veterans who have been speaking out at meetings since December were happy with the next steps.
Patrick Baca, local veteran and Brazos Valley peer service coordinator, said: “I think Judge Peters has done an excellent job, and I can’t think of anyone better suited for the job than General Nettles.”
Masterson said veterans will continue to be involved as plans for the two specialized courts move forward.
“It’s kind of like we’re taking the torch forward,” Masterson said. Now that we have the information, we hope they will take advantage of us and the resources we have already established.”
Although a step forward, Peters said it may take some time before either court makes its way to the Brazos Valley, but the commission is being urged to move quickly.
Copyright 2022 KBTX. all rights reserved.