Las Vegas Municipal Court will celebrate Veterans Specialty Court at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 17, at the Regional Justice Center located at 200 Lewis Ave., in Department 6. The court was created by Judge Martin Hastings and his marshal, John Ochoa, (a veteran himself), to better address the unique needs of veterans.
Judge Hastings has designated a part of his weekly court calendar to address the unique and different needs and experiences of veterans since 2007. Defendants who have served, or are currently serving in the United States Armed Services, are identified and services between Veterans Affairs and other community partners are coordinated. These services include drug and alcohol treatment, mental health and medical services, vocational assistance and other services aimed at treating the needs of the veteran.
The Veterans Court Calendar has grown since 2007 and prompted the need to expand the specialty court. Judge Hastings has adopted the National Association of Drug Court’s 10 key components and has organized a specialty court team to ensure the veterans are receiving the needed services and the court program is following best practices of specialty courts. The team includes the judge, Veteran’s Services re-entry specialist, specialty court coordinator, evaluator, city attorney, public attorney, marshal and a senior judicial assistant. The marshal, evaluator and the public attorney on this team are all veterans.
Judge Hastings presides over Veterans Court every Thursday at 10 a.m. in Dept. 6.
The Veterans Specialty Court is the court’s fifth Specialty Court, joining the already successful Las Vegas Municipal Court DUI Court, Habitual Offender Prevention & Education (HOPE) Court, Women In Need (WIN) Court and Youth Offender (YO) Court programs.