March 2018
Spotlight
Twenty-one Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the country are participating in a two-year study examining the use of genetic testing from cheek swabs to aid in the prescription of antidepressants. This $12 million VA depression study is recruiting 2,000 pairs of doctors and veteran patients who have not responded well to prior treatments for depression. The genetic test analyzes the ability of participants to metabolize antidepressants to inform which type and how much of an antidepressant should be prescribed. Because people metabolize things differently based on genetics, antidepressant dosages should vary based on whether a patient is a fast or slow metabolizer. The hope is that the genetic information will contribute to improved recovery and remission rates for those suffering from major depressive disorder. 
Research
Published Empirical Research

Eileen M. Ahlin & Anne S. Douds
Through interviews and focus groups with veteran participants, veteran mentors, and veterans treatment court team members, this study provides an in-depth examination of veteran culture and how it helps to distinguish veterans treatment courts from other specialized courts. 

Daniel M. Blonigen, Allison L. Rodriguez, Luisa Manfredi, Andrea Nevedal, Joel Rosenthal, James F. McGuire, David Smelson, & Christine Timko  
The study examines responses from interviews with 22 specialists from the Veterans Health Administration Veterans Justice Programs to explore barriers to and facilitators of cognitive-behavioral treatments for criminogenic thinking.  

Raquel M. Derrick, Lisa Callahan, Roumen Vesselinov, Roger W. Krauel, Judith A. Litzenberger, & Leiana Rae Camp 
Using data from the first 82 participants enrolled in the SDVTRC from February 2011 until July 2014, this study examines program outcomes and relationships between program process and outcomes. 

Richard D. Hartley & Julie Marie Baldwin
As veterans treatment courts become more prevalent across the country, findings from multivariate recidivism analysis reveal potentially positive results for participants, especially graduates.

Kellie Van Dyke & Erin A. Orrick
Many scholars have failed to differentiate between incarcerated veterans who have seen combat versus those who have not. This study examines the relationship between veteran status (combat v. non-combat) and crime type among inmates in state and federal institutions. 

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee to Evaluate the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services 
This congressionally mandated report assesses the need for mental health services among veterans, the services and resources available from the VA, and the utilization of VA services.

Ongoing Research Highlights


Multimedia Resources
(Webinars, Podcasts, Online Resources)
National Center for PTSD 
A free, interactive online tool that helps educate users on PTSD, effective treatment options for PTSD, and how to begin treatment and actively participate in their care decisions.

Military Officers Association of America
This webpage discusses and lists VA mental health services and resources for veterans.

Center for Deployment Psychology
April 25 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Eastern 
A panel of civilian and military sleep experts will explain the role and treatments of different disciplines in sleep disorder management in the military in this 90-minute webinar, consisting of 75 minutes of learning and 15 minutes of Q&A. They will discuss the state of research on behavioral treatments for insomnia such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy of Insomnia and Brief Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia and describe ways behavioral health providers can support appropriate referrals to evidence-based sleep treatments through increased engagement with primary care teams.
Policy Updates
Indiana House Bill 1402: ENACTED, Effective 03/19/2018 
Revises provisions relating to the military and veterans; requires a weekly electronic query cross referencing arrestee information with the names of veterans and National Guard members; provides for the needs of veterans in the court system; urges a study of a program giving rental property owners property tax deductions to reduce veteran homelessness

New Mexico House Bill 2: ENACTED, Effective 05/16/2018
Defines veterans services and permits the Second Judicial District Court to request budget increases up to $200,000 for veterans treatment court program from internal service funds/interagency transfers and other state funds from fees. 

Legislation would authorize funding for veterans treatment courts across the United States through grant programs. It has until January 3, 2019 to pass.
In the News
Event Calendar
Veterans Events
Registration Open Now
April 5-26: Veteran Job Fairs across the Country 
April 6: Lewiston, ID Applications Open for Gorges of the Lower Salmon River Rafting July 6-9 April 7: Hollywood, CA Stand Down (Services and Supplies for Veterans)
-----------------If enough volunteers: Volunteers Needed
April 14-16: Devils Tower, WY Veterans Expeditions Advanced Rock Climbing
April 20-22: Groton, MA PTSD Retreat 
April 24: Arlington, VA The Career Coaching Workshop for Women
April 25-26: Arlington, VA The Officer Women Leadership Symposium (OWLS) 
April 27 Washington, DC Women Veterans Leadership Summit (WVLS)

Veteran-Focused or -Related Community Events
Registration Open Now: Long Creek, SC Memorial Day Chattooga River Run May 18-20
April 25: Webinar on Sleep Disorder Care in the Military 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. EST
April 27: Chattanooga, TN American Dream Concert

Upcoming Events Notice
May 30-June 2: Houston, TX NADCP Annual Training Conference
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To submit content for the next issue of this newsletter, please email ndcrc@american.edu with "Veterans’ Justice and Mental Health Newsletter” in the subject line.
Our mission is to inform policy, practice, and scholarship through the distribution of current veterans treatment court-related resources.   
The  National Drug Court Resource, Policy, and Evidence-Based Practice Center , funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and operated by the Justice Programs Office (JPO) at American University, strives to provide practitioners and professionals working in the drug court field with current resources and upcoming events.  Please email  ndcrc@american.edu  with any inquiries.
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