Faulkner Law Director of Career Development Assists Veterans Through Alabama Veterans Treatment Courts
B.S. University of Alabama
J.D. Cumberland Law School
Masters of Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College
East Memorial Baptist, Prattville
U.S. Army and Army National Guard, Colonel, Judge Advocate, Legion of Merit
By the end of 2015, it is projected that more than 22 million veterans will be living in the United States1. These men and women, who have bravely served our country in a variety of settings, often face challenges when returning to civilian life. Some turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their difficulties, and these decisions can lead to arrests and run-ins with law enforcement. Unfortunately, the number of veterans appearing on court dockets related to these offenses is on the rise.
In response to this growing problem, Veterans Treatment Courts were created to provide a unique service to the men and women of our nation’s Armed Forces who find themselves involved in the legal system. In Veterans Treatment Courts, veterans are provided with federal, state and local resources to help them reintegrate into society. While receiving the treatment they need to lead constructive civilian lives, they are also held accountable by a judge for meeting their obligations to society, themselves and their families. Participants are regularly and randomly tested for alcohol and drug use, and are required to appear frequently in court for the judge to review their progress. Upon successful completion of the program, charge(s) against the veteran are dismissed. The dismissal alleviates pressure on an already over-crowded prison system, and allows the veteran to maintain his/her security clearance.
Faulkner Law’s Director of Career Development, Bryan Morgan, has been active with these courts in Alabama since they began in April 2012. Morgan, who is a retired colonel and judge advocate in the Army National Guard, serves along with other state lawyers and judges on the Alabama State Bar Veterans Support Task Force, which promotes the Veterans Treatment Courts and veterans services statewide. To date, there are twenty-four such courts in sixty-seven Alabama counties.
In addition to serving on the state bar’s Task Force, Morgan is the Veteran Mentor Coordinator in the Shelby County Veterans Treatment Court with Circuit Judge Bill Bostick. The Shelby County Veterans Treatment Court, which was started in 2012, was the pilot program for the Alabama Veterans Treatment Courts. Morgan coordinates other veteran volunteers who mentor the Veterans Treatment Court participants.
Under Morgan’s leadership, students at Faulkner Law also have an opportunity to actively participate in the Veterans Treatment Court program through the Military Veterans Law Association. The Military Veterans Law Association is comprised of law students who are veterans themselves or who aspire to serve as a Military Judge Advocate upon graduation. Not only do participating students develop an understanding of the court system and hone their legal skills, but they also provide valuable community service to assist our nation’s veterans.
“In Alabama alone, there are more than 400,000 veterans,” said Morgan. “Unfortunately, some of these men and women who have honorably served our country find themselves on the wrong side of the law after they return home. The Veterans Treatment Courts in Alabama provide such a valuable service for these men and women in getting their lives back on track.”
Because of Morgan’s leadership with the Veterans Treatment Courts and the Veterans Support Task Force, he was recently nominated by the Alabama State Bar for the President’s Award Certificate. Morgan will receive this accolade at the 2015 Alabama State Bar’s Bench & Bar Awards Luncheon. Faulkner Law congratulates Morgan on the extraordinary work that he is doing both inside and outside of the law school.
For more information about Veterans Treatment Courts, visit www.politisite.com/2015/05/27/veterans-treatmenht-court-giving-veterans-a-fighting-chance/. To become involved, contact Bryan Morgan at email@example.com.
1 United States Department of Veterans Affairs, www.va.gov/vet_data.