Jefferson County Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyer announced in a press release Tuesday that the sheriff’s department will implement a veterans program at the Jefferson County Jail.
The program will use a team approach to provide military veterans the necessary rehabilitation resources that will reduce recidivism among county veterans. Sheriff Boyer, a Vietnam veteran himself, indicated he is excited about the possibility of reducing recidivism among veterans, and of achieving the secondary benefits to the county such as decreased jail and housing costs for repeat offenders.
At the time of admittance, approved veterans will be housed with other veterans in the jail. They will receive support through U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outreach programs, which may include identification of benefits for psychiatric care, mental health, substance abuse, housing, sexual abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Community Treatment Inc. of Jefferson County will provide support and in-house counseling.
Veterans will have a peer support group consisting of other veterans, counselors, mentors and volunteers who can provide the continued post-release/post-sentence support necessary for successful rehabilitation, according to the news release. All of the resources will be provided at the jail so there is an increased likelihood of participation and overall success.
By using a multidisciplinary team approach, veterans will have access, guidance, support and oversight from judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, mental health experts, substance abuse professionals and other veterans.
Presiding Circuit Judge Lisa Page has suggested interest and is working towards establishing a veterans court to specifically deal with cases involving veterans. Research has supported that these types of courts are more effective in reducing recidivism than traditional methods, according to the news release.
The multidisciplinary team is supported by the Jefferson County Courts, the Missouri Public Defenders Office, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson County Municipal Courts, Community Treatment Inc. of Jefferson County, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.