Dan McCaffery Speaks At PA VFW Convention; Highlights Need For Veterans Court Volunteers

Recently, Mr. Daniel McCaffery, Friedman Schuman shareholder, addressed the annual state convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Gettysburg. McCaffery was there to highlight the urgent need for volunteers for Veterans Courts across the state.

Veterans Courts are "problem-solving" courts, which use a collaborative approach to criminal justice proceedings. These courts work to address the underlying problems that bring the veteran into the criminal justice system, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries, and try to find ways to improve the problem so the veteran can avoid a criminal record and have the best possible chance of getting back on track as a healthy, productive veteran and citizen.

The most distinctive aspects of the Veterans Court program are the volunteer veteran mentors who serve as liaisons, advocates and guides to fellow veterans as they work to address issues related to their criminal case. The ability to speak with a fellow veteran who has "been there" offers court participants an informal way to ask questions, solicit feedback and discuss how they are feeling about their situation.

Currently there are Veterans Courts in six Pennsylvania counties, with six more on the way by the end of the year. As the courts expand across the state, the need for veteran volunteers also rises.

McCaffery, a veteran and volunteer mentor himself, has been working with the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts to help recruit volunteers through veterans organizations to act as mentors. "At the VFW Convention the response was overwhelming," said McCaffery. "Every man and woman in the room answered the call to serve their country in time of war, and they were ready once again to help their fellow veterans in time of need."

"Many challenges remain," continued McCaffery. "Right now, Veterans Courts have an urgent need for female mentors as for the first time in the history of our Armed Forces a significant number of women veterans are returning home from battle."

For more information or if you would like to volunteer, contact the Veterans Court Coordinator at (302) 884-6730, or via email at VeteranMentors@courst.phila.gov.