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Veterans Advocate appointed to help veterans in court

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MORRIS -- Kayci Wendland has been appointed veterans advocate for veterans appearing in criminal court in Stevens and Pope Counties.

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This is an AmeriCorps position through the Veteran Justice Corps and the Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice. The grant proposal for this position was drafted and coordinated by Cheryl Torgerson, official court reporter in the 8th Judicial District.

The Stevens-Pope Veteran Justice Corps Committee worked on this proposal for over two years. The committee was chaired by Judge Jon Stafsholt of Glenwood. Other members were Veterans Service Officer Hugh Reimers, Pope County Commissioner Gordy Wagner, former Stevens County Commissioner Paul Watzke, Stevens County Commissioner Phil Gausman, Pope County Coordinator Jim Thoreen and Probation Officer Terry Jaworski.

The veterans advocate will be available to assist veterans appearing in court and will work with probation officers and the veterans service officer as well as the community to help veterans get re-adjusted to civilian life.

Wendland has a degree in criminal justice, has worked with restorative justice programs in Benson and has served as a counselor at a group home. 

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