Ceremony honors graduates of St. Joseph County Veterans Treatment Court

Full Article

The Indiana Lawyer on November 30, 2016 by Marilyn Odendahl

Federal Senior Judge Robert Miller Jr., right, escorted his father, retired St. Joseph Superior Judge Robert Miller Sr., to the St. Joseph County Veterans Treatment Court graduation ceremony Nov. 21. (IL photo/ Marilyn Odendahl)

John Laphier spent his first six months in the St. Joseph County Veterans Treatment Court continuing to abuse drugs and drink alcohol.

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Lamphier had tricked the system for years but he soon learned the problem-solving court was not so gullible. He got sent to jail for two days, then seven days, and for a time he had to come to court every day to see other people getting sentenced.

Eventually he realized, he either had to change or he would go prison for a long time.

“Veterans court really helped me get honest and get my life back,” he said.

Lamphier and five other former military members graduated from the veterans court during a special ceremony Nov. 21 at the courthouse in South Bend. Judges, attorneys, relatives and other veterans crowded into the second-floor courtroom to watch as the group of men received certificates for completing the program and congratulatory handshakes from veterans court Judge Steven Hostetler.