PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
CONTACT: Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 8, 2016
On Eve of National Observance of Veterans Day Holiday, Vets to Graduate from Norfolk Veterans Treatment Court in Dedham
On Thursday, November 10, six veterans are expected to participate in a graduation ceremony at the Norfolk Veterans Treatment Court in Dedham District Court the day before the Veterans Day holiday is observed in ceremonies across Massachusetts and the United States.
The graduating veterans have all successfully completed 18-to-24 months on probation in the post-disposition court session. The Veterans Treatment Court provides justice-involved veterans with the structure, accountability, treatment, and mentoring they need to repair their lives, requiring that veterans comply with the terms of their probation, including abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and participation in substance use disorder and mental health treatment.
Dedham District Court Judge Mary Hogan Sullivan, who presides over the session, will lead the Norfolk Veterans Treatment Court graduation. Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence, District Court Chief Justice Paul C. Dawley, and Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan will be in attendance; U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch is expected to deliver remarks.
The court session is structured with a team of court staff and external partners, and includes a presiding judge, probation officer, prosecutor, defense attorney, volunteer mentor, veterans justice outreach coordinator, police detective, clerk, and treatment coordinator. Specialty courts are court sessions that provide intensive probation supervision and mandated treatment focused on treating the mental health or substance use issues underlying criminal behavior.
Dedham District Court was the first in Massachusetts to hold a veterans treatment session in 2012. Building on the success of that court session, a Veterans Treatment Court session started in the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court in 2013, with the support of the City of Boston. In the past three years, three more veterans treatment court sessions operating out of District Courts in Massachusetts have started in Lawrence, Holyoke and Framingham. The five veterans treatment court sessions are part of a growing list of specialty courts in the Trial Court. Massachusetts has four types of specialty court sessions: drug courts, mental health courts, veterans treatment courts, and homeless courts.
Thursday, November 10th
Dedham District Court - Courtroom 1
631 High Street, Dedham