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HAMPTON -- The City of Hampton this week became the first jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia to establish a Veterans Treatment Court.

The idea is to help honorably discharged vets with various mental health and substance abuse challenges related to the service. Some 61,000 veterans live in Hampton and Newport News alone.

Mentors will be assigned to veteran-defendants, to help guide them through the legal process, and assist them on their individual roads to wellness.

'We want to take the time to say to our veterans we care enough about you to want to find out what is the root issue that's causing the behavior,' said commonwealth'sAttorney Anton Bell. 'Then, we can correct the root issue, we can correct the behavior and return you back to society as a productive member.'

The court docket is being created thanks to a one-time, $200,000 grant.

Bell is hopeful it makes a difference . 'This is our way of saying thank you, thank you for your sacrifice, and we appreciate you,' he said.

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