CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Centre County District Attorney, Bernie Cantorna, has launched a new initiative aimed at helping local Veterans while they go through the criminal justice system. It’s called the Veteran’s Treatment Track Initiative.
“It will allow our office to then recognize the service Veterans have given to this country, the steps they have taken in regards to their own treatment and well being, and assist them reentering society as a productive member and Veteran here in Centre County,” says Cantorna.
The idea formed last January when the head of Pennsylvania’s national guard visited Centre County and advocated for local servicemen & women.
This Veteran’s Day, Cantorna says he feels a duty to connect those who’ve served with the proper treatment services.
“Our office has the ability to do that, and I think it would be a disservice to what they’ve done for us not to do so.”
The attorney’s office plans to partner with the Veteran’s Association, local Veteran’s Affairs offices, and mental health organizations. They say the goal is to give each individual the best chance to return to a healthy and productive life.
“I want to make it public so that anyone who’s worn the uniform, in any capacity, knows that they can put in an application, they can talk to an advocate, they can talk to the VA, they can talk to the defense attorney if they’re in the system, and know that we will listen,” says Cantorna.
applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Moving forward, Cantorna says this plan lays the groundwork for a special Veteran’s treatment court, and it will be passed on to the Centre County government for approval.