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County supervisors approve enhanced reentry program for incarcerated veterans

 

Last updated 10/25/2019 at 11:09am



SAN DIEGO – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to enhance the Veterans Moving Forward program to support incarcerated veterans as they transition out of jail and back into society Wednesday, Oct. 15. The expansion includes Community Care Coordination, C3 for Veterans, in order to reduce recidivism and strengthen reintegration.

San Diego has the largest concentration of active duty military service members and veterans in the world. As a result of their experience in the military, many veterans face challenges when reintegrating back into civilian life. These issues can escalate and often lead to veterans entering the justice system or facing homelessness. In 2018, 687 veterans were booked into county jails.

Veterans Moving Forward is a partnership between the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to provide support services to incarcerated veterans. It promotes responsibility and accountability through participation in classes and training.

“It is so important to ensure that those who bravely served our country have a system of support that will help them reintegrate into society in a safe environment that allows them to heal, rehabilitate and access resources that will make them whole and self-sufficient once again,” Gaspar said.

The C3 team model will include a case manager and peer support specialists who act as personal advocates to facilitate connections to services. This comprehensive system of support will increase access to affordable housing and help identify eligibility for Veterans Affairs and community support programs. Additionally, it will create a pre-apprenticeship program to help them transition into real world training and jobs.

“Many veterans in the Veterans Moving Forward program suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder acquired from their time in the service. They served to protect us; we must now step up and help them move forward. They have the support of camaraderie in jail; this will continue that support when they get out of jail, which will make it more successful,” Supervisor Jim Desmond said.

Implementation of the program will begin immediately and require a continued partnership between San Diego County, Veterans Affairs and community providers.

Submitted by the office of San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar.

 

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