Veterans Justice Outreach Initiative
The Veterans Justice Outreach initiative limits the criminalization and unnecessary arrest of Veterans suffering from acute and persistent mental illness through a targeted outreach program including many experiencing homelessness. VA Medical Center teams work to ensure that eligible justice-involved Veterans either currently experiencing homeless or reentering communities from incarceration receive appropriate mental health and substance abuse services. This outreach initiative involves collaboration among VA Medical Center points of contact, local law enforcement, and treatment services to provide for the needs of Veterans helping to avoid subsequent arrests and involvement with the criminal justice system.
Each VA medical center has been asked to designate a facility-based Veterans’ Justice Outreach Specialist to provide outreach, assessment, and case management for justice-involved Veterans in local courts and jails, and liaison with local justice system partners.
Veterans experiencing homelessness, those in frequent contact with the criminal justice system, and the reentering Veteran population are the primary beneficiaries of this program.
This initiative is funded through the Department of Veterans Affairs and Administered by local Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinators in each state.