The University of St. Thomas School of Law is hosting an event this Veterans Day, in partnership with the Veterans Defense Project, to bring attention to the importance of restorative justice and healing for veterans returning home from serving our country.
"Honoring Veterans with Restorative Justice" is just one way the School of Law's Initiative on Restorative Justice and Healing is working within our courts and communities to facilitate healing, build bridges and bring about a more just and inclusive society.
From the story:
"Ryan and I, in our advocacy, often say that leaving a veteran behind in the justice system is no different than leaving them behind on the battlefield," said Hunter.
Together with Minnesota judges, prosecutors, and the University of St. Thomas School of Law, they worked with legislators to pass the Minnesota Veterans Restorative Justice Act in 2021. The law allows judges to defer criminal convictions on lower-level crimes committed by veterans who have proven PTSD, sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, or other mental illnesses connected to their military service.
It is not a Get Out of Jail Free card. The defendant must plead guilty. But if they undergo and complete treatment and rehabilitation supervised by the court, the judge will dismiss the conviction from their criminal record.