Forward Assist Campaign for Veterans Treatment Courts
Forward Assist in partnership with its ' Not for Profit' Social Enterprise About Turn CIC collaborated with Newcastle City Council to host a seminar in Newcastle upon Tyne to explore the possibility of adapting the'Veteran Treatment Court' model that is currently in place within the Criminal Justice System in the USA . Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court in New York state currently reports working with over 300 veterans since 2008 and to date not a single veteran has re-offended. The event was chaired by Cllr Veronica Dunn and Dave Anderson MP. Robert MacDonald former Prosecuting Attorney at Little Rock Veterans Treatment Court in Arkansas made the case for a specialist Veterans Court to be piloted in the UK and Sherman Banks made a passionate speech in favour of Citizen Advocacy and collective responsibility when it comes to supporting veterans struggling with the transition from military service to civilian life.Following the event Lord Beecham made representations in the House of Lords to have a Veterans Treatment Court model piloted in Newcastle upon Tyne and included it in the amendments to the recent Criminal justice Bill. Meetings with Forward Assist, Dave Anderson MP, Lord Beecham The RFEA and Damien Green representing Chris Grayling have since taken place to explore possibilities. The campaign will continue into 2014.