The Veteran’s Administration has responded to the vast needs of justice-involved veterans through the Veteran’s Justice Program (VJP), which includes both the Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) program and the Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans (HCRV) program. The Veterans Justice Outreach program provides Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Specialists to coordinate service delivery for justice involved veterans; VJO Specialists can link veterans to resources including MAT, mental health services, housing, residential treatment, and employment assistance, although the nature and type of these services vary across the United States. The HCRV program provides similar services, but serves veterans leaving federal and state prisons. There are approximately 300 VJO Specialists and 50 HCRV Specialists nationwide. This project is designed to enhance our knowledge and understanding of both the VJO and the HCRV as service delivery models.
The research team will first create a Community Engagement Advisory Board to maximize stakeholder input and collaboration at all stages of the study. In the initial study planning phase, we will identify key stakeholders involved with providing services for justice-involved veterans and utilize their knowledge and experience to collaboratively design the study. The team will then conduct qualitative interviews, with key stakeholders and staff in 20 jurisdictions across the country, with a primary focus on the role of the Veterans Justice Program Specialists in each of these jurisdictions. Two primary research questions will be addressed: (1) What are the service provision and service delivery challenges facing justice-involved veterans who are eligible for VHA services and involved with law enforcement, the court process, or the county jail? (2) What are the service provision and service delivery challenges facing justice-involved veterans leaving Federal and state prisons?
James Byrne, PhD