Williamson County Commissioners Court approves full-time employee to oversee Veterans Treatment, DWI courts

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The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved the creation of a new full-time employee to oversee Veterans Treatment Court and DWI/Drug Court dockets Jan. 8.

The approval would remove two part-time employees—a coordinator for the Veterans Treatment Court and a coordinator for the DWI/Drug Court—and combine them into one position.

“We have more veterans moving into our county all the time—and we’re doing work in this court in regards to housing, transportation, employment [and]family reunification,” County Court of the Law 2 Judge Laura Barker said. “What a statement it makes that Williamson County is helping our veterans get back on their feet and that they are actually becoming more productive members of our community.”

The Veterans Court program works with Veterans Affairs to help veterans charged with misdemeanor crimes get back on their feet through mentorship and drug or mental health treatment plans, according to the Williamson County website. The program also assists with housing, employment and medical services. Since it formed in 2015, the program has a success rate of 94 percent, Barker said.

The DWI/Drug Court program is 12 months long and targets repeat DWI and misdemeanor drug possession offenders through local criminal justice resources, case management and substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation in lieu of imprisonment, according to the Williamson County website. The Court has success rate of 81.3 percent since established in 2006, Barker said.

Barker said since she was appointed in June 2016, the court has also expanded from one docket at 2 p.m. to two dockets at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month to help push through cases more quickly.

In other business:

  • County Judge Bill Gravell was appointed to the Texas Conference of Urban Counties Policy Committee for 2018-19. Gravell said he and the court would re-evaluate the committees each serve on and determine further appointments at a later meeting. The Texas Conference of Urban Counties is a nonprofit organization composed of 37 member counties that represent approximately 80 percent of the population of Texas, the county tweeted.
  • Judge Gravell tasked the court with reviewing the rules of procedures, conduct and decorum for future Commissioners Court meetings. The court will vote on changes during its Jan. 22 meeting, Gravell said.
  • Williamson County offices will be closed Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, 1855 S.E. Inner Loop, Georgetown, will be open regular business hours on Monday, Jan. 21, from noon to 6 p.m.

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Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.
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