The mission of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to fulfill President Lincoln's promise "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's veterans.
Veterans can sometimes run into issues with law enforcement and the criminal justice system resulting in incarceration. It is important justice-involved veterans are familiar with VA benefits including what VA benefits they may still eligible to receive, what happens to the VA benefits they are already receiving if they become incarcerated, and what programs are available to assist them with reintegrating back into the community once released from incarceration.
The mission of the VJO program is to identify justice-involved veterans and contact them through outreach, in order to facilitate access to VA services at the earliest possible point. Veterans Justice Programs accomplish this by building and maintaining partnerships between VA and key elements of the criminal justice system, including working with Veteran Treatment Courts (VTCs) [PDF] to divert Veterans from incarceration in the traditional legal system to providing treatment for health or substance abuse.
Most veterans who are in jail or prison will eventually reenter the community. The VA's HCRV program is designed to promote success and prevent homelessness among Veterans returning home after incarceration. Services include outreach and pre-release assessments services for veterans in prison, referrals and linkages to medical, mental health and social services, including employment services on release, and short-term case management assistance on release.
Veterans with a service-connected disability that limits their ability to work or prevents them from working can apply for assistance through the Department's Veteran Readiness and Employment program. The VR&E program helps veterans, including those who are incarcerated, explore employment options and address training needs. In some cases, veterans' family members may also qualify for certain benefits.
The Department's Office of Research and Development's VA Research program is the only research program focused entirely on Veterans' needs and conducted solely by VA employees, often in partnership with academic institutions. This allows VA Research to identify the direct needs of patients at chair and bed side, and to find discoveries and innovations directly in-step with these needs. More than 60 percent of VA researchers are also clinicians who provide direct patient care.
Additional reentry and justice-related funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs can be found in Grants.gov.