268444 Trauma, veterans, and criminal justice involvement: Early exploration of the relationship between trauma, military service history, and participant outcomes from the SAMHSA Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery (JDTR)-Priority to Veterans Evaluation

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Laura Elwyn, PhD , Research and Evaluation Center, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc., Albany, NY
Kristin Stainbrook, PhD , Advocates for Human Potential, Inc., Albany, NY
The Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery (JDTR)-Priority to Veterans program was initiated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2008 to support 13 states in the implementation of jail diversion programs for persons with PTSD and other trauma-related disorders involved in the criminal justice system. Recognizing the burden of military service-related trauma exposure, the program emphasizes identification, screening, diversion and treatment for veterans. SAMHSA also funded a national cross-site evaluation to assess population characteristics, program implementation, and participant outcomes across the 13 funded sites. The national evaluation has collected data from over 550 participants to date including baseline and follow up interviews, and secondary data on arrests and treatment. Initial findings indicate high levels of both military and non-military trauma exposure for participants, and a high prevalence of PTSD and related mental health problems such as depression. Complicating problems such as substance abuse and homelessness are also widely prevalent. The national evaluation has also identified salient differences in population characteristics between sites with implications for program effectiveness, such as military eras served and degree of housing stability. Preliminary analyses of participant outcomes after six months of program participation indicate positive change in trauma symptoms, other mental health indicators, and functional areas such as housing stability and social connectedness. Using multivariate analyses that control for differences in populations served and contextual factors across sites, preliminary outcomes from the national evaluation will be described and interpreted.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe level of military and non-military trauma exposure in veteran and non-veteran participants of jail diversion programs 2) Identify differences in population characteristics for criminal justice involved veterans that may impact jail diversion program implementation 3) Discuss changes in mental health and other functional indicators that may result from jail diversion treatment programs

Keywords: Veterans, Criminal Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Co-Director of the National Cross-site Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery Program Evaluation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.