ST. PAUL (AP) -- Gov. Tim Walz is supporting efforts to improve the treatment of veterans within Minnesota's criminal justice system.

Walz, who's also a veteran, told advocates on Tuesday that he stands with their proposal to create a statewide restorative justice program for veterans charged with certain crimes.

The legislation was proposed by nonprofit Veterans Defense Project. It could be introduced in the Legislature this month.

The nonprofit's president, Brock Hunter, says Minnesota has roughly 12 courts for veteran offenders that allow some offenders to avoid convictions for crimes related to their military service if they go through treatment.

Hunter says there are disparities in how cases are resolved across the state's counties. The legislation would help defendants in counties without courts for veteran offenders to get the same kind of services.