Veterans Court



In June of 2011 Judge Mark Stevens of the Henderson Municipal Court Department 1 established a “Veteran’s Court.”  In 2009 Nevada enacted NRS 176A.280 which authorizes courts to create a program for treatment of veterans and members of the military who have been arrested if they suffer from mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The Henderson Municipal Court addresses the needs of veterans who have been arrested for misdemeanor crimes in the City of Henderson. 


 


All of the veterans in the program have honorably served, many have seen combat, suffered injuries and have witnessed traumatic events.  The Veteran’s Court operates with a team approach composed of the Judge, the Public Defender, the Prosecutor, Court Marshals, Veteran’s Administration representatives, our Victim Advocates and the Mentors.  Veterans are not given a free ride.  The program is demanding.  Veterans are required to appear in court often and must participate in all required rehabilitative programs based on their individual needs.  Veteran’s are required to perform community service and stay out of trouble while in the program.  All of this is intended to assist the veteran in returning to being a law abiding and productive citizens.


 


An essential part of this program is the involvement of volunteer mentors. Mentors assist the veteran’s by being an example of a veteran who has successfully made the transition from military life to civilian life.  Mentors provide encouragement and some guidance to the participants.  Mentors are expected to, as often as possible, attend scheduled court sessions, to be supportive and understanding of the challenges our veterans face.  It is not required for mentors to have combat experience and not all of our participants have combat experience.  We hope to find mentors from all of the branches of the military, active and reserve.  I need to stress that mentors are not being recruited to be mental health counselors.  We have a solid relationship with the VA, the Vet Center and other counseling resources that have been very responsive to the needs of our veterans.  The only express requirements to be at mentor is to hold a honorable discharge, be otherwise eligible for Veteran’s Services and have no criminal history.


 


The Veteran’s Court sits at 2:00 p.m. Thursdays in Department 1 of the Municipal Court.  The Municipal Court is located at 243 Water Street, on the second floor of the Henderson Justice Center. 


 


To date, six veterans have successfully completed all of the requirements and graduated.  No veteran has failed to complete the program.  Judge Stevens and the entire Veterans Court Team are proud of the progress our veterans have made and as new veterans are enrolled by the efforts they put forth,  The Veteran’s Court Team invites all qualified veterans to attend a session and consider becoming a mentor.


Those interested in participating in this program as Mentors contact:


Robert Zentz


Judge Advocate VFW 'Doc' Enos Post 983


Assistant City Attorney


240 Water Street, MSC 144


P.O. Box 95050


Henderson, NV 89009-5050


Direct Line:  (702) 267-1248 


Fax:  (702) 267- 5001


Assistant's line: (702) 267-1231