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Utah veterans with criminal records given a second chance through rehabilitation program

Israel Palacio

Five military veterans arrested in Utah for different offenses are now being given a second chance for crimes they’ve committed in the past.

Established nearly eight years ago, “Veterans Court” is an effort to better serve those who served our country and recently, five individuals have either had their criminal records cleaned or had their statuses downgraded.

The program was launched by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill in 2015, who had one motto in mind when creating the program; “You did not abandon us in your service, and we will not abandon you in the time of your need.”

Gill’s office realized that there was a problem after seeing an increasing number of defendants with prior military service who end up in the system due to drug use or through mental health issues. Through the program, arrested veterans who were honorably discharged could willingly take part in the program to get their lives back on track by attending substance abuse counseling and mental health therapy.

The five military veterans who recently graduated from the program are all sober and in better places mentally.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.