July 2018
Spotlight
Veteran Employment: “Actions, Not Words”
Some employers attempt to combat unemployment among veterans by donating to veteran-serving nonprofits and others do so by specifically targeting veterans in their hiring practices. The StreetShares Foundation and Boston Beer Company are doing so by supporting “ vetrepreneurs” through contests for veterans to help them boost their small businesses. Winners receive both financial grants (not loans) and also coaching from executives to mentor the vetrepreneurs. Mark Rockefeller, the CEO of StreetShares, a veterans-run and veterans-focused small business loan provider, and chairman of the StreetShares Foundation’s board of directors, recently put together useful tips for employers on how to help the majority of veterans who are not starting or running their own companies.   
 
For employers that do hire veterans, it is vital they understand the importance of not only employing veterans but employing them in positions that provide a standard of living above the poverty line. In November 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a report entitled, “The Veteran Working-Poor: The Relationship between Labor Force Activity and Poverty Status.” The “working-poor” are those who are employed with income at or below the poverty level. The working-poor rates are highest among veterans between 17 and 24 years of age, post-9/11 and Gulf War era veterans, female veterans, veterans with minority backgrounds, and disabled veterans. Veterans with high school or less education had a higher working-poor rate than those with some college experience or degrees.
 
Similarly, programs working with veterans should understand that employment is a nuanced variable, which means that helping a veteran find employment is not enough. Poverty status and living situation must be assessed to provide adequate services and care for the veteran population. In this edition of the VJMH newsletter, employers will find a webinar with information on best practices for recruiting, hiring, and employing veterans. Additionally, the Veteran Job Fair Schedule link is included, as it is monthly. 
Research
Robert Ursano, Ronald Kessler, James Naifeh, Holly Herberman Mash, Carol Fullerton, Pablo Aliaga, Gary H. Wynn, Tsz Hin Ng, Hieu Dinh, Nancy Sampson, Tzu-Cheg Kao, Paul D. Bliese, and Murray B. Stein
The longitudinal study analyzed records of a cohort of soldiers who were deployed twice. The cohort included 593 documented suicide attempters and 19,034 servicemembers without a documented suicide attempt. Results revealed that the risk for a suicide attempt during or after the second deployment was higher among servicemembers who experienced their first deployment during their first 12 months of service and servicemembers who had a period of six months or less between the first and second deployments. 
 
U.S. Department of Defense
The annual report has just been released for calendar year 2016, and the 2017 report is currently being prepared. This report provides military suicide rates and risk factors, presents changes in these over time, and compares them to the rates and risk factors of the general population. 
 
Tia Johnson
The study consisted of a meta-analysis of studies evaluating the criminal justice system involvement among PTSD-diagnosed military veterans from the recent era (Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn). The meta-analysis included studies published between January 2007 and November 2017. Results indicate an increased rate of violence and aggression among this population
Practitioner Publications
A.M. Kurta, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense
Having a discharge upgrade can help veterans access VA benefits, services, and care. In 2017, the Kurta memo provided information on how to treat discharge upgrade applications for veterans with PTSD and other mental health conditions. With this memo, veterans who previously applied for an upgrade can reapply for consideration if they had been denied. 
 
Larry Pruitt
The Department of Defense just released the newest report on military suicide (see DoDSER above in Research Publications). This summary describes trends in military suicide over time, explains the analytics behind these studies, and presents key findings and results. The author notes that these annual reports are “invaluable tool[s] for researchers, policy makers, and DoD leaders to inform suicide prevention plans, policies, and programs.”
 
Internal Revenue Service
Enacted December 2016, the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act allows certain veterans who received lump sum disability severance payments additional time to file a claim for credit or refund of an overpayment attributable to the disability severance payment. The law directed the Secretary of Defense to identify disability severance payments paid after January 17, 1991, that were included as taxable income on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, but were later determined to be nontaxable and to provide notice of the amount of that payment. The Department of Defense is mailing letters to affected veterans (letters 6060-A and 6060-D) in July 2018.
Multimedia Resources
(Webinars, Podcasts, Online Resources)
August 8 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Virginia Values Veterans
This free webinar will educate employers on the value of hiring veterans, train employers on leading best practices in recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans, and connect employers with valuable resources to find qualified veteran talent. Webinar participants are eligible to receive 2.5 credit hours for HRCI and SHRM certifications.

National Drug Court Resource Center (NDCRC) at the Justice Programs Office
Approximately 1.5 million individuals arrested each year are at risk of substance dependence. While treatment courts aim to address substance dependence among this population, law enforcement is often the first point of contact for those with substance use disorders. However, treatment courts are traditionally not in contact with law enforcement. NDCRC hosted this June webinar to discuss best practices and strategies to engage law enforcement with treatment courts.

RecruitMilitary 
This interactive map offers a calendar of veteran job fairs in cities across the nation.  
In the News
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court (VTC). Currently there are more than 350 VTCs in the United States with hundreds more being planned. In 2018 alone, over 15,000 veterans in these programs will receive treatment and services that target their needs and underlying issues related to criminal behavior to improve their quality of life. 
 
 
 
 
 
Event Calendar
Make Plans! Upcoming Events Notice
October 12-14: Groton, MA Women Veterans Retreat 

Veteran-Focused or -Related Community Events
August 12-17: Groton, MA Military Kids Summer Camp 

Veterans Events
August 3-8: Albuquerque, NM National Veterans Golden Age Games
August 20: Summerville, SC Women Veterans Healing and Well-being Group
August 24: Minneapolis, MN Women-Owned Small Business Conference
August 25: White Mountain, AZ Stand Down (Services and Supplies for Veterans)
August 26-31: Ocean Park, ME Military Family Retreat
Contribute to the Next Issue
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.
National Drug Court Resource Center | Justice Programs Office
ndcrc.org