MIAMI-DADE COUNTY – Chief Judge Bertila Soto and Judge Marisa Tinkler-Mendez of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida will discuss the success of the Veterans Treatment Court on its two-year anniversary at the Jan. 23 County Commission meeting, at the invitation of Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who was instrumental in the creation of the Veterans Treatment Court.
Miami-Dade’s Veterans Treatment Court, which started in January 2017, diverts veterans from the traditional criminal justice system and provides them with the tools needed to successfully reintegrate back into civilian life – including substance abuse treatment, vocational training and housing from the Veterans Administration, as well as mentoring from members of the community. Commissioner Diaz, who also serves as the Chairman of the Miami-Dade Military Affairs Board, worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Miami Veterans Health Administration, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, and the South Florida Behavioral Health Network to create the Miami-Dade Veterans Treatment Court.
“This program was a huge priority for me, and after two years, this program has made a huge difference in many veterans’ lives, and this is a great time to celebrate that,” said Commissioner Diaz, who continues to advocate for more state funding for the program. “January is also mentoring month, so I want to take this opportunity to encourage all the great citizens with military backgrounds in our community to get involved in the program by volunteering to mentor a fellow veteran.”
For more information on the Veterans Treatment Court and how to get involved, call Gustavo Cruz, Director of the Military Affairs Board at (305) 375-4493.