Helping veterans who've committed minor crimes get back on their feet

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
The Department of Veterans Affairs has started a nationwide effort to find veterans in jails for minor brushes with the law and offer them medical treatment in hopes of preventing repeat crimes.

Soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry return to their base Camp Restrepo in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar Province on Friday May 8, 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Denver (AP) - The Department of Veterans Affairs has started a nationwide effort to find veterans in jails for minor brushes with the law and offer them medical treatment in hopes of preventing repeat crimes.

The Veterans Justice Outreach program was launched this year before an Army study released July 15 found a possible link between intense combat and 11 slayings allegedly committed by a handful of Fort Carson soldiers returning from deployment.

In El Paso County, next to Fort Carson, the Sheriff's Department is working on adding military service to information collected during booking.

VA officials say some veterans may be suffering from untreated post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury and may be self-medicating when they get charged with minor crimes.
(COPYRIGHT 2009 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)


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