JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Lawmakers in Missouri are looking to expand the use of special treatment courts aimed at helping veterans accused of crimes.
Treatment courts allow some veterans to get rehabilitation or psychological counseling rather than being sent to jail.
Veterans' courts currently operate in 27 states around the nation and Missouri already has four such courts. House Member Jay Barnes says the state will need more than that to handle soldiers returning home from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Barnes, a Jefferson City Republican, is sponsoring legislation that would allow circuit courts in the state to set up veteran treatment courts.
That measure has passed the House and is now pending before a Senate committee on veterans' affairs.
Veterans court bill is HB1110