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Treatment Vs. Jail: New Program In NJ Helps Veterans Afflicted With Mental Illness

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office has launched a new program that could allow veterans who commit certain crimes and suffering from a mental condition like PTSD to get treatment rather than jail time.

It's called the Veteran Diversion Program.

"We owe it to our veterans who have done so much to protect our freedoms to try to help them when they suffer from some of the consequences of their service," said Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina. "Treatment might be a better option for them than the consequences of a criminal conviction, and the program gives them an opportunity to be diverted into treatment, and, if all goes well, to have the charges either never filed or, if they have been filed, to get them dismissed and expunged from their record."

The program was established under a law signed earlier this year by Governor Chris Christie. The county prosecutor is the sole discretion to determine eligibility.

Click here for more information about the program:

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