Veterans Court Opens in Staten Island - Repaying a Debt to Vets Who Served Our Country
Christopher Pisciotta

A special Veterans Court opened in Staten Island on Wednesday.

Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks, Richmond County Administrative Judge for Criminal Matters Stephen J. Rooney, Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon and Christopher Pisciotta, Attorney-in-Charge of the Richmond County Office of The Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Practice inaugurated the borough's first court tailored to veterans involved in the justice system who may be suffering from addiction, mental illness or co-occurring disorders. The Richmond County Veterans Court will link eligible veteran-offenders to treatment and services in an effort to divert them from incarceration.

“Richmond County joins the growing movement to use our justice system to help our veterans," said Chris Pisciotta. " Our men and women stepped forward to protect our country, but military experience can have a lasting impact long after the service is done. Veterans Court provides treatment and mentoring, with accountability to veterans who are struggling that will benefit veterans and our community."

The court will also offer a range of support services to address associated problems, such as unemployment and homelessness.