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New court in Medina County designed to help veterans

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 18:45:54-05

MEDINA, Ohio — Medina County has one of the highest number of veterans in the state. Now, there is a Valor Court in Medina Municipal Court.

“We’ve been working on it for a long time, I’ve been thinking about it for even longer,” said Presiding Judge Gary Werner.

Werner explained he feels a certain sense of obligation to help those who helped our country.

“It’s really about gratitude, being grateful to those who take the oath and go down range on our behalf. They come back and we expect after all these experiences that they have in combat theaters etc., that they’re going to just get back in line at Walmart and rejoin civilization and a lot of them have difficulty with that,” said Werner.

The specialized docket is designed to help those veterans who find themselves in the criminal justice system.

“If they complete the program, and maintain all the rules and policies of the valor court at the end of their placement we’re going to dismiss that matter,” said Matthew Esterle, Medina Valor Court Coordinator.

Esterle said nationally Valor Court programs have about an 80% success rate, in Akron, where Esterle previously worked, he said that Valor Court’s success rate was more than 90%.

Now, Esterle hopes to help replicate that success in Medina County.

“We’ve brought together the best and brightest professionals who deal with veterans and veteran services,” said Esterle.

Next week, the State Supreme Court will visit the court and if all goes well, the Medina Valor Court will get a final certification.

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