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Judge Caraballo to Preside Over Veterans Court

Judge Caraballo to Preside Over Veterans Court

Orlando, FL – On Wednesday, July 1, 2015, the Honorable Tina Caraballo will officially take over the Veterans Court Division for Judge Jerry Brewer. Judge Caraballo, a 10-year United States Army veteran, was elected to the Orange County bench in November of 2014, and took the bench in January of this year. Veterans Court holds weekly hearings in Courtroom 7B of the Orange County Courthouse, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

In its second year, the Orange County Veterans Court program has been a resounding success. The Ninth Circuit partnered with the State Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, VA, probation, and the Safety Council to develop the program. To date, over 49 veterans have graduated from the program. Besides successfully completing the program, staff aims to curb the recidivism rates for these veterans and to restore them to a more productive life.

Many veterans are unaware of their VA eligibility status. Working in conjunction with a Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, veterans enrolled in the program receive vital information about available VA resources, such as medical care, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment and housing accommodations. Once linked to these resources, veterans are equipped so they can once again make positive contributions to society.

Veterans must be eligible for acceptance into the program, and the victim and State Attorney must consent to their participation. Upon qualifying, veterans are placed in a diversion program and are assigned a mentor who supervises the veteran while they complete the program. Once a veteran successfully completes the program, which may take up to 18 months, the charges are nolle prossed.

For additional information, please contact Julio Semino, Court Support Manager, at ctadjs1@ocnjcc.org or call 407-836-0403.