PRESTON, Minn. (KTTC) – On the third Friday of September each year, the United States observes National POW/MIA Recognition Day. A day honoring those who were prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.
Friday also marked an important day for Minnesota’s Third Judicial District with the launch of another Minnesota Veteran’s Treatment Court. The Third Judicial District includes; Rice, Steele, Freeborn, Dodge, Olmsted, Wabasha, Winona, Mower, Fillmore, and Houston counties.
One of two ribbon cutting ceremonies took place Friday afternoon in front of the Fillmore County Courthouse. The other took place at the Steele County Courthouse earlier in the day.
The ceremony started off with a tribute to prisoners of war and those missing in action.
This is the seventh Veterans Treatment Court in the state. A treatment court is an intensive probationary court designed to assist veterans with getting treatment and to assist them in turning their life around, as opposed to spending time behind bars.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz spoke about the importance of veterans having access to these types of Veterans Treatment Courts.
“If a veteran commits an act that gets them in the justice system, in a county or an area that has a Veterans Treatment Court, their chance of moving on from that and not committing a crime again is much greater than if they happen to be geographically in a place that they can’t go in front of the court,” said Walz.
Walz say’s there is a need for additional Veteran Treatment Courts around the state. His ultimate goal is that every veteran in Minnesota has access to a Veterans Treatment Court.
There is a need for mentors and other volunteers in the program. If you’re interested, you are asked to reach out to the court administrator in your county.