May 2018
Denver researchers surveyed jail inmates, drug court participants, and probationers and discovered that 54 percent had a prior serious brain injury, which is higher than the 8 percent found in the general population. This finding is significant because brain impairments have been found to affect auditory memory and impulsivity. This research forges connections between brain injuries and criminal behavior, and the author urges courts to take this medical history into account when evaluating cases. Brown suggests that if individuals with legal requirements still owed to the state (such as community service, drug or alcohol screenings, and restitution) receive weekly instruction, their highly routinized schedules will result in better outcomes, including lower recidivism. 
Deborah E. Barnes, Amy L. Byers, Raquel C. Gardner, Karen H. Seal, W. John Boscardin, Kristine Yaffe
Researchers used propensity score matching to compare a sample of more than 350,000 veterans diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) by the Veterans Health Administration. Most severe injury recorded was used to categorize TBI severity as mild without loss of consciousness (LOC), mild with LOC, mild with LOC status unknown, or moderate or severe. Excluding those with dementia at baseline and controlling for medical and psychiatric comorbidities, results revealed that even mild TBI without LOC was associated with a more than two-fold increased risk of dementia diagnosis. 

Michael C. Mithoefer, Ann T. Mithoefer, Allison A. Feduccia, Lisa Jerome, Mark Wagner, Joy Wymer, Julie Holland, Scott Hamilton, Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Amy Emerson, Rick Doblin 
In this phase 2 clinical trial (randomized double-blind dose-response phase 2), the researchers tested the efficacy and safety of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of chronic PTSD among military personnel and first responders. The sample included many who remained unresponsive to currently available PTSD treatments. Researchers reported that the MDMA doses (75 and 125 mg) in conjunction with adjunctive psychotherapy in a controlled environment were overall effective and well tolerated. However, some adverse events were reported. 

National Drug Court Resource Center at Justice Programs Office
The Drug Court Review invites manuscripts for its upcoming issue focusing on innovative treatments and approaches employed by specialized court programs. The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2018, with an anticipated publication date of December 2018.  
Practitioner Publications
National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics at the US Department of Veterans Affairs
This short report provides a more detailed portrait of the Vietnam veteran cohort. Using the American Community Survey data, this report builds on the previously published profile (July 2017) of the cohort’s demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, such as employment status, financial position, health care coverage, and disabilities.
Multimedia Resources
(Webinars, Podcasts, Online Resources)
June 13 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT
National Drug Court Research Center at Justice Programs Office
This webinar presents a discussion of best practices and strategies to engage law enforcement with treatment courts. Panelists will address the role of law enforcement in treatment court programs, engagement strategies to increase participation from law enforcement, education and training approaches to inform law enforcement about treatment services, and the role of law enforcement as advocates for treatment court programs. 

June 14 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT
This 90-minute course is designed to assist mental health professionals and advocates with providing an effective, appropriate, and trauma-informed responses to military service members, veterans, and their families who have experienced intimate partner abuse. Discussion will include how to recognize and respond to power and control dynamics, distinguish between post-traumatic stress reactions and abusive behaviors, understand the impact of abuse, and help victims recognize and manage triggers. Panelists will also review trauma-informed strategies for supporting victims/survivors. 

June 20 1:00-3:00 p.m. EDT
Military Officers Association of America
This virtual event is open to all job-seeking military service members and veterans, as well as their spouses. The online career fair allows interested participants to connect with employers and learn about new opportunities. 

This interactive map offers a calendar of veteran job fairs in cities across the nation.  
Policy Updates
Colorado House Bill 1078 ENACTED: Effective 8/8/18
Under current law, a judicial district chief judge may establish an appropriate treatment program for military service members and veterans. The bill states that when establishing any such program, the chief judge, in collaboration with the probation department, the district attorney, and the state public defender, shall establish program guidelines and eligibility criteria that are agreed upon by these parties to be most appropriate for the jurisdiction creating the program.

Louisiana Senate Bill 548 ENACTED: Effective 5/15/18 
The bill creates a pretrial diversion program for veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Louisana House Bill 394 ENACTED: Effective 8/1/18
This bill establishes the Post Conviction Veterans Mentor Program, which provides work opportunities for veterans participating in the program and establishes transitional facilities.

Oklahoma Senate Bill 922 ENACTED: Effective 11/1/18
This bill establishes the Oklahoma Women Veterans Program within the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, defining program duties, certain advocacy requirements, dissemination requirements for certain information, the production of certain reports, and an effective date. The bill also provides the authority to develop rules and codification.
In the News
Event Calendar
Veterans Events
June 1-9: Air Force Academy, CO The Warrior Games
June 2: Golden, CO Vet Expedition (Beginner)  
June 2-8: Lotus, CA California Whitewater Guide School
June 8-10: Charlotte, NC Women Warriors Writing Workshop
June 11-14: Williamsburg, VA Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium
June 12: Austin, TX Women’s Veterans Day 
June 14-17: Salida, CO Vet Expedition (Beginner) 
June 18: Summerville, SC Women Veterans Support Group
June 23: Milwaukee, MI VA Mental Health Summit

Veteran-Focused or -Related Community Events
June 9: Center Moriches, NY Veteran and Family Day of Wellness
June 23: Alton, IL Volley 4 Veterans
June 23: New Castle, PA Stand Up for Vets Motorcycle Run
June 29: Kapolei, HI Aloha Gala and Silent Auction
Contribute to the Next Issue
To submit content for the next issue of this newsletter, please email 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  with any inquiries.
National Drug Court Resource Center | Justice Programs Office