There is a high prevalence of criminal justice system-involvement among Veterans experiencing homelessness, with some estimates indicating that as many as one-half of all Veterans experiencing homelessness are involved in the justice system. Strategies to end Veteran homelessness must therefore also encompass efforts to address and reduce justice system involvement. One starting point for this is to include criminal justice settings as part of the locations where Veterans experiencing and at-risk of homelessness are identified and engaged, spanning every step in the criminal justice process, from arrest to reintegration back to society.
Some key approaches include:
- In-reach efforts into jails and prisons as communities identify and engage all Veterans who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness,
- Partnerships with corrections departments to prevent the homelessness of Veterans who are re-entering the community from prison or jail, and
- Collaborations with law enforcement agencies and courts to divert Veterans from jail or advance alternatives to incarceration.
This webinar—hosted by USICH, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and VA’s Veterans Justice Programs—provided information to help communities integrate criminal justice system partnerships into their effort to prevent and end homelessness among Veterans. The webinar aired on Wednesday, July 8, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. PM ET.
Jessica Blue-Howells, Health Care for Reentry Veterans, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Sean Clark, Veterans Justice Outreach Program, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Baylee Crone, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Peter Nicewicz, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness