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5 veterans graduate from special Hawaii court program

Five military veterans are graduating from a specialized Hawaii court program that helps those whose drug abuse and mental health issues led to arrests and incarceration.

The state judiciary says Friday’s graduates are veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines and Hawaii National Guard. They’ve gone through two years of intensive treatment and counseling, including frequent drug testing, meetings with probation officers and court hearings.

The judiciary says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid for many of the services.

Judge Ed Kubo started Veterans Treatment Court in 2013 with three defendants. The court grew to 10 defendants in 2014. The defendants in the program are veterans who have experienced difficulties returning to civilian life. Many suffer from mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

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