A new juvenile probation program, a new veterans’ court

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Juveniles on probation will be learning self-regulation skills in a new mandatory program by La Paz County Probation Department, while their parents are given the opportunity to be part of a support group.

Beginning in May, the Probation Department will be conducting an ongoing program to teach court-involved youth self-regulation skills, meeting at the Probation Office for about an hour each month. When juveniles are placed into court-ordered probation, they will automatically be required to attend.

While the young people are meeting to learn new skills, the Probation Department will also facilitate a support group for their parents aimed at giving the parents a safe place to express frustrations, ask questions and share successes with each other. The parent group is optional but encouraged.

The new groups will meet at 5:30pm on the third Tuesday of each month, beginning in May. For more information, contact Juvenile Division Probation Supervisor Ken MacFarland at (928) 669-6188 x225.

In another development related to the justice system in Parker, an administrative order establishing a Regional Veterans’ Treatment Court for La Paz County was signed last week by Superior Court Judge Sam Vederman.

A veterans’ court is a special court which tries cases of minor offenses which involve veterans, particularly those diagnosed with service-related illnesses. The first veterans’ court, established in 2008 in Buffalo, New York, has been used as a model for other veterans’ courts in other parts of the United States.

Entities involved in the establishment process included the Public Defender’s Office, the County Attorney’s Office, the courts system, Probation Department, Board of Supervisors and others. Representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs have also been involved.

Cases in the new La Paz County Veterans Court will be heard at the Parker Justice Court with Parker Town Magistrate Jim Putz-Artrup presiding. The process of setting up the court is ongoing.

For some more background on the veterans’ court, see October’s article HERE.

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