Valor Court offers veterans facing nonviolent criminal offenses an avenue for treatment and a second chance at being productive members of the community through case work and supportive services.
The diversion program of the Akron Municipal Court, which is the first of its kind in Ohio, recently earned a $6,900 grant through Operation Legal Help Ohio – Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance.
The grant dollars will go toward transportation needs of those served through Valor Court, including bus passes and gas cards, which will be purchased and given to defendants through the end of the year.
Judge Jerry Larson presides over Valor Court and its mission is “to assist veterans with access to programs, treatment and interaction with mentors in a collaborative initiative to enhance chances of success.” The program will mark its fifth anniversary in November.
“This grant will assist the veteran population in our area and ensure defendants can get to court and to treatment appointments in a safe way,” said Larson. “We are always grateful for financial assistance and know the generosity will be appreciated by our defendants as well.”
Defendants with nonviolent charges within the Akron Municipal Court system may be eligible for admission to this program, which takes into account that many veterans return to civilian life with serious trauma, both physical and mental, an issue that may lead to their involvement with the criminal justice system.
Funding for the grant was awarded to Operation Legal Help Ohio by the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. After seizing assets from a sham veteran’s charity, DeWine distributed the funds to several Ohio veterans’ organizations, including funding to Operation Legal Help Ohio to support Ohio’s veterans’ courts, funding transportation costs for veterans traveling to required appointments.
Valor Court sessions are held in the courtroom of Judge Larson, Room 943 in the Harold K. Stubbs Justice Center, on every other Tuesday at 10 a.m.
The Akron Municipal Court serves the cities of Akron and Fairlawn; the townships of Bath, Richfield and Springfield; the Villages of Lakemore and Richfield; and that part of Mogadore in Summit County, Ohio. For more information about Akron Municipal Court services and programs, visit courts.akronohio.gov/.