Ramsey County launches Veterans Justice Initiative

Ramsey County plans to launch a Veterans Justice Initiative aimed at creating a criminal justice response to help veterans in legal trouble.

The initiative announced Jan. 15 would address issues relating to veterans who get in trouble with the law due to issues sustained from military service.

Veterans are at high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder as well as other disabling mental and physical issues. These conditions may impede their ability to secure jobs, housing and health care. The instability for vets and military families can lead to problems with homelessness and other stressors that lead to alcohol and drug use.

Consequently, this leads to higher crime rates, which is what the initiative aims to lower.

"This is a win-win: we can save money by helping veterans to not engage in the revolving door of criminal activity as well as giving them supervision and resources to get their lives back on track," said Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt in a press release.

The program will evaluate and identify the resources available to vets to live a healthy life as well as focus on public safety and accountability.

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