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Dispatches From the Front Lines

Justice For Vets' publication series "Dispatch from the Front Lines" is the only online resource for new and existing veterans treatment court professionals, as well as drug treatment court, mental health court, and DWI court practitioners serving justice-involved veterans. Each dispatch offers guidance on a number of key topics, from higher education to working with VSOs and federal agencies.

*New* Identifying the Veteran Population Within the Criminal Justice System

The military and veteran community is often overlooked as a culturally relevant population within the criminal justice system. Identifying this population provides an opportunity to engage with unique resources while integrating cultural competency. Communities need to incorporate a structured and targeted process within the system that surveys the justice-involved population to determine those that have served in the U.S. armed forces. This document describes the Veterans Re-Entry Search Service (VRSS) and Status Query and Response Exchange System (SQUARES).

*New* Mentor Roles and Boundaries: Setting the Conditions for Success

Volunteer veteran mentors have been described as the “secret sauce” of veterans treatment courts. They engage, encourage, and empower their fellow veterans to change their lives, ensuring that together we will "Leave no veteran behind." However, mentors must have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities, and must establish and maintain appropriate boundaries to enable veteran participants to succeed in the program.

Expansion of VA Caregiver Support Program

Veterans treatment courts across the country may serve veterans who have serious disabling conditions requiring intensive support from a caregiver so that they can live at home. In October 2020, the VA Caregiver Support Program was substantially expanded, providing new opportunities for caregivers of veterans who are severely ill or injured. The mission of the program is “to promote the health and well-being of family caregivers who care for our nation’s Veterans through education, resources, support, and services.”

The Department of Defense’s inTransition Program

The DoD's inTransition Program was created in 2010 to help connect service members and veterans to behavioral healthcare and ensure any service member or veteran who wants a provider for behavioral health services can be connected. This program is available to ALL of America’s veterans, regardless of discharge status.

Veterans Treatment Courts Send Veterans Back to School

Learn about the numerous education and training benefits offered by the VA, and get guidance on linking participants to opportunities in higher education.

Veterans Treatment Courts and the U.S. Department of Labor: Putting Veterans Back to Work

The U.S. Department of Labor plays a vital role in connecting veterans to the training and employment resources they have earned. Learn what services and resources are offered by the Department of Labor and read why veterans treatment courts are a critical tool in the fight against veteran unemployment.

State Departments/Commissions of Veterans Affairs: States Providing Invaluable Assistance to Veterans Treatment Courts

A guide for learning the many benefits and resources offered by State Departments/Commissions of Veterans Affairs and how to use these to benefit participants in veterans treatment court.

Veterans Service Organizations in Veterans Treatment Courts: Coming to the Aid of Their Fellow Veterans

Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) play a vital role in veterans treatment courts. Learn how to work with these organizations to provide veteran participants the opportunity to interact with their peers while receiving the help they need to connect with the numerous benefits and resources at the local, state, and federal level.

The VBA in Veterans Treatment Courts: Accessing the Full Range of Support

The Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) offers a myriad of resources to justice-involved veterans, including disability compensation, education benefits, and training services such as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. Learn how to access VBA benefits and read real stories of how connecting with the VBA has affected participants in veterans treatment court.

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