San Joaquin County will open a special court in February to handle the cases of military veterans who are charged with crimes.
The "Veterans' Treatment Court" will help vets who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental problems, or who have substance abuse problems.
County Deputy Director of Veterans Services Virginia Wimmer says the new court will give veterans an alternative to jail.
"To reduce the recidivism, to reduce the demand on county resources and giving those veterans a hand up and not just a hand out. It's a way of helping them to become whole again," says Wimmer.
Wimmer says the court will follows the veteran offenders for a year to insure they get the help they need to return to productive lives. She says the court will not deal with major crimes such as murder, rape, or arson.