Cumberland County, North Carolina Judge Lou Olivera, is a veteran. He served in the Army as an intelligence officer.
In 2014, Cumberland County opened the second veterans’ treatment court in the state. Judge Olivera became the presiding judge of the court, which had its first graduate in April 2016. Olivera explains the court in the second video below.
Cumberland County includes Fort Bragg, and a real need was recognized to understand combat veterans who get into trouble breaking the law.
Joe Serna is also a veteran. He served three tours in Afghanistan as a Sargent First Class in the Green Berets. Joe has two Purple Hearts. Joe received such injuries that he was not allowed to return to the battlefield and was placed on desk duty. Joe began drinking alcohol to numb the pain.
Joe Serna and Judge Lou Olivera did not meet under the best circumstances. They met because Joe had been convicted for drunk driving. A condition of his probation was that he not drink. Joe had to take a urine test and he lied about the results.
To hold him accountable, Judge Olivera sentenced Joe to one night in jail. Read the rest of this entry