Veterans' Groups Encourage Service Providers to "Ask the Question"

Jun 12, 2015

Representatives from local and national veterans' organizations gathered in Concord Friday to explore ways to help veterans entering the justice system.

The groups are encouraging police officers and other service providers to ask people they encounter if they’ve ever served in the military. If the answer is “yes,” then these service providers could steer the veteran to customized services.

For example, if a veteran is accused of breaking the law because of behavior stemming from post-traumatic stress disorder, that veteran may be placed in a court diversion program for veterans, instead of being prosecuted in traditional ways.

"We think it’s vitally important for any provider, or service provider, that exists in the state to be able to ask that question and be able to provide services to our veterans," says Mary Morin, director of the New Hampshire Office of Veterans Services. She spoke today at the New Hampshire Justice Involved Veterans Conference.

These service providers could also include doctors and educators. As part the effort to streamline veterans’ justice services, some of these groups will host military culture education events for civilians throughout the state.