Veteran's Treatment Program
District Attorney Jeffrey S. Rosell is pleased to announce the start of the Veteran's Treatment Program. The program is a collaborative effort including the Santa Cruz Superior Court, the Public Defender, the Veteran's Affairs office, the Santa Cruz County Probation Department, and local volunteers who mentor veterans facing criminal charges.
The program applies to all military veterans who are facing criminal charges in Santa Cruz County courts, regardless of their length of service, whether they served in combat, or their discharge characterization, said Baum. Veterans who choose to participate can "earn" dismissal of minor charges, or reduced charges in more serious cases, by participating in therapy, completing substance abuse, anger management or post-traumatic stress disorder programs, and performing community service. "While the primary goal of our office is always public safety," said District Attorney Rosell, "at the same time, we are looking for intelligent alternatives to custody that still protect the public and help our veterans heal."
Additionally, volunteer mentors will be available to help the veterans through this process, by giving them rides to programs or court dates, helping them obtain housing or medical assistance through the Veteran's Administration, or just being there to listen. The volunteers were recruited and trained by Stoney Brook, a retired Inspector from the District Attorney's Office and a Vietnam veteran.
About half of all California counties have specialized veteran's courts. "Three veterans have already begun their participation here in Santa Cruz, and those numbers are expected to grow as the program formally gets under way," said Rosell.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY JEFFREY S. ROSELL
Jeffrey Rosell has been a prosecutor for over 20 years and has worked in the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office since 1994.
He graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1984, and earned his law degree from the University of Southern California in 1988.
He became chief deputy of trial operations in January 2009 and has prosecuted high profile jury trials for murder, child molestation, adult sexual assaults and gang crimes. He also supervissed the sexual assault, special prosecution, and general felony units in the office.
Jeffrey Rosell is a passionate advocate for victims and their familes as they face the challenges of navigating the criminal justice system.
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