- Category: Latest News
- Created on Sunday, 03 November 2013 19:54
Vista, California - Military veterans who find themselves in jail will get special assistance to help them turn their lives around in a new jail dormitory that opened at the Vista Detention Facility November 1.
The Veterans Moving Forward housing unit, which can hold up to 32 inmates, is a partnership between the Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and community providers. The partnership’s goal is to provide veterans with advice and support to ease their transition back into the community and help keep them out of jail for good.
"This initiative brings the resources to the veterans, while they're in our facilities and then assists in their transition back to the community,” said Sheriff Bill Gore.
As of Nov. 1, 270 veterans are in county custody. Some of the veteran inmates are serving time and others are still going through court proceedings.
All program participants will receive a variety of services such as behavior change classes, substance abuse and vocational programs, employment readiness training and counseling to help them adjust and re‐enter into the community.
By housing the veteran inmates together, it will be easier to provide these services. The housing unit can be compared to military barracks with buddies who can relate to one another's situation, sheriff officials said.
"San Diego County has more veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other in the nation,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. “Providing services such as Veterans Moving Forward and Veterans Court is pivotal to their success and to community safety."
After the Veterans Moving Forward housing unit is fully established at the Vista Jail, the program will be expanded to other detention facilities.
"This new program reflects San Diego County’s focus on building a smart criminal justice system," Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins said. “By linking veterans and others to the in‐custody and community programming that addresses their issues and needs, we can help them build more positive futures while protecting the public at the same time. I commend Sheriff Gore and his staff for this innovative new initiative.”
View the new jail dormitory in this video on the Sheriff's YouTube Channel.