- Benefits and Services
- Suicide Prevention
Benefit Category: National
The aim of the Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) program is to avoid the unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and extended incarceration among Veterans by ensuring that eligible, justice-involved Veterans have timely access to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services, as clinically indicated. VJO specialists provide direct outreach, assessment and case management for justice-involved Veterans in local courts and jails and liaison with local justice system partners.
Our Mission: Veterans fought for our freedom, now it’s our turn to fight for theirs. We enable the creation of a nationwide network of Veterans Treatment Courts that is transforming the way veterans are handled in the criminal justice system. In doing so we will keep veterans out of jail and prison; saving their lives, their families, and their futures, while saving tax dollars for the American public.
Justice For Vets is a professional services division of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Alexandria, VA. Justice for Vets believes that no veteran or military service member should suffer from gaps in service, or the judicial system when they return to their communities. As the stewards of the Veterans Treatment Court movement, we keep veterans out of jail and connect them to the benefits and treatment they have earned; saving their lives, families, and futures, and saving tax dollars for the American public. Justice For Vets will ensure that the criminal justice system effectively identifies, assesses, and responds to all justice-involved veterans appropriately, and will lead the national effort to establish Veterans Treatment Courts within reach of every veteran in need. As the national leader, Justice For Vets will aggressively advocate for Veterans Treatment Courts and mobilize the public to take action to join us in ensuring that no veteran is left behind.
Many organizations exist to provide programs and services to veterans, however service duplication and lack of coordination have created wide gaps in access. Often, justice-involved veteran are excluded entirely from accessing this help. Justice For Vets helps communities bring together local, state and federal resources to directly serve veterans involved in the justice system due to substance abuse, mental illness, or trauma.
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program (Pro Bono Program) was created in 1992, with a dual mission: to provide assistance to unrepresented veterans or their family members who have filed appeals at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court); and to recruit and train attorneys in the then fledgling field of veterans’ law.
Each appellant who requests Pro Bono Program assistance receives a thorough review of his or her appeal. An appellant whose case is not accepted by the Program receives substantive legal advice about his or her case and an explanation as to why the Pro Bono Program cannot place the appeal with a volunteer attorney.
For volunteer attorneys, the Consortium teaches a one-day class in veterans law. Every attorney who receives training and accepts a case from the Consortium receives an analysis of the case prepared by the Consortium’s veterans’ law specialists. Each attorney also receives extensive research materials published by LexisNexis (including the latest version of the Veterans Benefits Manual and a CD-ROM with an on-line research capability), as well as the assignment of a mentoring attorney to provide advice and assistance during the course of the appeal.