As noted by the document Invisible Wounds of Warreleased in 2008 by the RAND Corporation, an increasing number of combat veterans are returning from duty overseas with as many as 17 percent developing PTSD and other mental illnesses. For many of these veterans their mental health issues will go untreated, placing them at higher risk for involvement in the justice system. In addition to this, many communities struggle with providing adequate supports to ensure that these veterans successfully reintegrate back into community life.
Because of these issues and the growing number of individuals with PTSD and trauma histories who come into contact with the criminal justice system, SAMHSA awarded six Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Program grants in the fall of 2008, six Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Program grants in the fall of 2009 and one Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Program grant in the spring of 2010 to support local implementation and statewide expansion of trauma-informed jail diversion programs for people with post traumatic stress (PTSD) and other trauma-related disorders. RAND also identified that there is a dramatically higher prevalence of trauma related diagnosis among veterans. In recognition of these findings, these programs will prioritize eligibility for veterans.
As the technical assistance center for the 2008 and 2009 grantees, SAMHSA’s GAINS Center will provide support to this initiative by:
- Assisting states with infrastructure development by offering aid in program design, action planning, and overcoming barriers;
- Supporting states in proactively incorporating veterans’ voices into program development and implementation by providing training to mental health veterans working with jail diversion programs;
- Providing TA regarding jail diversion, criminal justice linkages, and reentry program development for specific to veterans needs;
- Imparting direction on creating trauma-informed systems and providing trauma-specific services that highlight veterans combat experiences;
- Assisting states’ program planning and design by conducting states’ systems mapping and encouraging the use of evidence-based practices;
- Implementing support by providing training, annual meetings, and on-site TA visits; and
- Providing guidance on identifying methods for program sustainability.
2009 Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Program-Priority to Veterans
Florida State Department of Children and Families, Tallahassee, FL – This grant will use a two-pronged approach, with a result of diverting individuals at the initial contact with law enforcement and implementing a training program on coaching and supervision of staff for trauma screening, treatment and recovery services.
New Mexico State Human Services Department, Santa Fe, NM – This grant will serve adults with a history of trauma and prioritize veterans by implementing the Seeking Safety model of trauma treatment and recovery.
North Carolina State Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh, NC – This program will pilot its infrastructure program in Mecklenburg County in Charlotte, diverting an estimated 1,000 people to community-based management, employment services and veteran specific peer support services.
Ohio State Department of Mental Health, Columbus, OH – This program will implement Project VETS, which seeks to assist military personnel and their families suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other trauma related disorders who become involved with the criminal justice system by prevention, criminal justice intervention and diversion and long term recovery and support.
Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Harrisburg, PA – This program will divert veterans with trauma related disorders from the justice system to trauma-specific treatment and support services.
Rhode Island State Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals, Cranston, RI - This grant will provide training in trauma informed care and provide services to an estimated 650 persons over five years using the Trauma Addiction, Mental Health and Recovery approach to delivering treatment and recovery support services.
Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX – This program will pilot a jail diversion and trauma recovery program using the Seeking Safety model of trauma treatment and estimates serving and providing treatment to 180 persons per year.
2008 Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Program-Priority to Veterans
Colorado Mental Health Division, Denver, CO – This grant will provide jail diversion services to veterans within Colorado and directly link them with treatment services that will support recovery from trauma disorders including co-occurring disorders.
Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Hartford, CT - This grant will support the CT Diversion/Trauma Recovery Program to provide veterans with PTSD/trauma-related disorders, effective integrated services and recovery support.
Georgia State Department of Human Resources, Atlanta, GA - This grant will support the provision of trauma-integrated jail diversion services for veterans and include the training of criminal justice, mental health, and substance abuse treatment staff on trauma-informed care.
Illinois State Department of Human Services, Chicago, IL - This program will be implemented in two phases, with a result of delivering trauma-informed, evidence-based treatment to 120 consumers as well as specialized training for 1,100 police officers in street level responses to veterans living with a mental illness.
Massachusetts State Department of Mental Health, Boston, MA - This program will implement Mission Direct Vet, which seeks to reduce justice involvement among veterans returning from Iraq/Afghanistan with trauma-related symptoms and addictions by using trauma-sensitive, veteran-focused mental health and substance abuse treatment, and peer support.
Vermont State Department of Health, Burlington, VT – This program will pilot its infrastructure and intervention program in Chittenden County, screening an estimated 14,000 veterans and other adults in the criminal justice system for trauma-related disorders and diverting an estimated 300 people from detention to evidence-based treatment and supports.
SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation
Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
For Alternative Access to Web Documents : Email GAINS@prainc.com