Many of the men and women who have served our country in the military have lived through traumatic experiences and witnessed horrific things. The things they have seen and the injuries sustained while in service affect their brains and often leave them with problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. It is no surprise that if left untreated, these veterans often struggle adjusting back to life as a civilian, and that these mental issues affect their behaviors and decisions. Since many veterans do not receive the mental health assistance they need from the VA, many instead find themselves caught up in the Arizona justice system and the Department of Corrections.
In Maricopa County’s Durango Jail, there is a separate veterans unit specifically designed for inmates who have served our country. These inmates receive psychological attention and treatment for PTSD, anger management, depression, stress, alcoholism, drug addiction and drug prevention. The veterans are housed separately from the general prison population in hopes of keeping them on the right track while incarcerated and to prevent recidivism once they are released. In workshops and classes, the veterans address the issues that contributed to their incarceration, and learn how to successfully reenter society as law abiding citizens. The inmates are required to follow a strict code of conduct while housed in the unit.
While it is admirable that the mental issues veteran inmates face are being addressed and treated, many civilian inmates suffering from mental illnesses and brain disorders get lost in the general prison population and do not receive the mental health assistance they so desperately need. Instead, they remain tangled up in the justice system, often living a pattern of crime, jail time, release, and recidivism. Mentally ill individuals who are facing criminal charges of any kind need a lawyer with knowledge and experience defending these types of cases. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges and you believe that mental health is to blame, speak to a mental health defense attorney today.
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