Once a Marine, Always a Marine: everyone knows a Veteran. What if that Veteran is in legal trouble? Do you know who to contact if they need assistance or which resources are available to them? We’ve gathered a few useful programs for Veterans that may be struggling with legal issues, incarceration, and re-entry.
Veterans with police involvement, criminal charges, or incarceration often have difficulty navigating the traditional justice system and obtaining positive outcomes. The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs has programs that partner with the justice system to improve outcomes for those Veterans and their communities.
Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Program: Works to avoid the unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and extended incarceration among Veterans by ensuring that eligible, justice-involved Veterans have timely access to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services. Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Specialists are in every state and provide direct outreach, assessment, and case management for justice-involved Veterans in local courts and jails and liaison with local justice system partners. VJO Specialists also serve as a liaison to Veterans Treatment Courts, Crisis Intervention Teams in police departments, and Probation and Parole Officers.
Find a VJOS near you at www.va.gov/homeless/vjo.asp.
Health Care for Re-entry Veterans and Resources (HCRV): This program promotes success and prevents homelessness among Veterans returning home after incarceration.
For state points of contact please visit: www.va.gov/homeless/reentry.asp
Veterans Treatment Court: A Veterans Treatment Court judge handles Veterans' cases and understands the issues that a Veteran may be struggling with such as substance addiction, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or other trauma. A Veterans Treatment Court judge is also familiar with the VHA, Veterans Benefit Administration, State Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans service organizations, as well as volunteer Veteran mentors who can assist Veteran defendants.
For more resources, check out this Veterans Treatment Court resources and video: www.justiceforvets.org/what-is-a-veterans-treatment-court/
Still searching for more in-depth assistance with Veterans Court? Contact your installation’s Information, Referral, and Relocation, and Marine For Life Network.