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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Marianne Clear, Veterans Court Program Manager, 360-867-2035

New Graduations from Thurston County Veterans Court

OLYMPIA - Four more participants in Thurston County's Veterans Court are set to graduate. The first person to successfully complete the intensive court process graduated this past July. Now, an additional four people will graduate between now and mid-November. They are-
  • Marvin Kemp, 10/19/11 @ 4pm
  • Ryan Minar, 10/26/11 @ 4pm
  • Robert Dowd, 11/2/11 @ 4pm
  • Antonio Mendez, 11/9/11 @ 4pm

Thurston County Veterans Court, the first in the state, was a response of Thurston County District Court, the Prosecutor's Office, and the Office of Assigned Counsel to the growing number of veterans and service-members who are becoming involved in the criminal justice system. The court replaces incarceration of the defendant with intensive court supervision.

Veterans Court Judge Brett Buckley says the graduation of each participant is a tribute to the person who fulfills all the requirements. "Undertaking Veterans Court is not something to treat lightly. It carries with it significant requirements of time, program commitments and dedication to law abiding behavior. It is definitely not a 'get out of jail free' card and by the time someone graduates, they have really improved their life and the community is safer for it."

In order to graduate, the veteran must complete all recommended mental health, chemical dependency and/or domestic violence treatment. This may also include anger management or parenting classes. Random urine analysis testing is a requirement for everyone in the program and they must remain clean and sober. This is in addition to frequent check-ins with court social workers and regular court hearings.

Currently there are 17 veterans in the program and eight more on a waiting list. The regular Veterans Court sessions are held every Wednesday at 4:00 pm in Thurston County District Court and are open to the public.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3