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The Story of Veterans Treatment Courts: Judge Robert Russell

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2022

This podcast episode features a conversation between host Karen Friedman and retired judge of City Court in Buffalo, New York, Robert T. Russell, Jr., about how he founded the nation’s first specialized court designed to address the needs of military veterans.


In this Justice Today episode, podcast host and director of Criminal Justice Innovation, Development, and Engagement, at the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Karen Friedman, interviews the Honorable Robert T. Russell, Jr., of Buffalo, New York. Judge Russell retired after serving more than 30 years on the bench in City Court in Buffalo, New York, and in 1995, he started the city’s first drug treatment court. In 2008, the judge launched the nation’s first treatment court that was specifically designed to meet the needs of military veterans. Judge Russell discusses his career as a drug and treatment court judge, what attracted him to that kind of work, and the challenges and rewards of developing the veterans’ treatment courts.

Date Published: September 1, 2022