Veterans get a second chance in Alachua's Criminal Justice Center

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The Alachua County Criminal Justice Center on Friday applauded three veterans who completed the veteran treatment court program.

The program allows veterans who are charged with certain misdemeanor or felony crimes to get treatment instead of jail time.

As friends, family members and those still in the program cheered, the men who once fought for our country shed tears of joy.

Veteran Bob Ashby, who is currently in the program for a federal offense, said surrounding himself with veterans and mentors is helping him stay on track.

"There's a camraderie amongst us that is supportive and it's supportive and it's encouraging to see your peers move forward," Ashby said. "Yay, yay for them and yay for me."

There are currently 23 veterans in the program. Most who graduate have their charges dismissed.

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