Veteranís Diversion Programs

In the article, the development and validity of veteranís diversion programs will be discussed, as well as the research that has been conducted on the effects of PTSD on servicemen. Veteranís diversion programs were created in several states in lieu of the Jail Diversion and Trauma RecoveryóPriority to Veterans initiative that was brought about by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2008.

This initiative was developed ďto support the implementation of trauma-integrated jail diversion programs for justice-involved veterans and other individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma-related disorders,Ē meaning that veterans faced with criminal misdemeanors would have the opportunity to seek treatment in place of spending time in jail.

The states that have implemented these programs in September of 2008 include Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts and Vermont. Starting in September of 2009, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas also implemented Veteranís diversion programs, and The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania started their program in March of 2010. These states hope to address the ďpersuasive effects of trauma on individuals and their families through the expansion of trauma-specific services and trauma-informed care training.Ē There is evidence to support the correlation between service-induced PTSD and outbursts of sometimes violent criminal behavior, so it is hoped that the use of therapy and counseling will begin to remedy this very prevalent problem for veterans nationwide.

To meet the needs of their participants, most facilities are offering the Seeking Safety or the Trauma Empowerment (TREM) model of therapy in group counseling, as well as cognitive processing therapy and desensitization and reprocessing therapy. All of these programs are designed to help the veterans overcome any emotional trauma that may have developed in the time of their service. Through these intensive treatments, the facilities hope to help the veterans recognize trauma, and then work toward fixing it, so that they may avoid any future problems with the law. If a veteranís case qualifies for a jail diversion program, after completing the program, the charges against them will be negated.

Although this initiative was implemented only a few years ago, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is hoping that it will be an effective way to handle the rampant issue of emotional trauma in veterans, but some people may be wondering why servicemen are allotted this special treatment. Many supporters believe that the treatment is justified, as certain criminal behavior may have been largely caused by the trauma that they have sustained. Although there is no way to realistically prove this theory, the evidence shows that these assumptions are fairly accurate. If you are a veteran faced with misdemeanor criminal charges in a state that offers a veteranís diversion program, it could be in your best interest to contact a local attorney today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey
If you are a veteran faced with misdemeanor criminal charges in Rhode Island, a defense attorney from the Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey can help. This firm is knowledgeable in all areas of criminal defense, and they can provide you with viable options on how to handle your case. Whether you are faced with charges like assault or disorderly conduct, with the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be able to seek treatment instead of spending time in jail. If you would like to know more about the veteranís diversion program, do not hesitate to contact a Rhode Island defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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