Jefferson County is locking up veterans in special jail unit to break the cycle of incarceration

Monday, 13 November 2017, 09:41:46 PM. A new veterans-only housing unit at the Jefferson County Detention Facility could help some vets avoid returning to the jail.
Since leaving the Army in 1996, John Smith has led a troubled life marked by stints in jail. Smith, 55, who moved into a new veterans-only housing unit at the Jefferson County Detention Facility on Nov. 6, is hoping that the time he spends surrounded by fellow vets will help him break the cycle of incarceration. “We have all been disciplined at one time in our lives, and I think it will be good to regain that discipline by being around other vets who support each other,” Smith said. Smith, who served in the military for 16 years, declined to discuss the incidents that led to his jail time. He is one of 32 vets who will live together in the housing unit, which officially opened Friday. The arrangement will give them quicker access to training and classes provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and make it easier to get information about housing, health care and other services they will need when they get out. In a telephone interview, Smith ticked off a list of scheduled VA classes, including anger management, successful community re-entry, yoga and conflict resolution. The Jeffco jail is the second county lock-up in the state to house veterans in a single unit. The arrangement makes it easier for them to receive services and training aimed at preventing a return to jail. The El Paso County Criminal Justice Center began a similar program for veterans in January 2013, said Janet King, programs manager for the jail. That unit, which is home to 71 prisoners, is the only...Read more
Share this

You might also like