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November 12, 2015

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chairman Josh Shapiro Highlights Efforts to Assist Veterans in the Justice System


Harrisburg, PA. — Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Chairman Josh Shapiro spoke to advocates and justice system professionals on PCCD’s efforts to assist veterans in the justice system at the Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association Veteran’s Conference this morning. PCCD strives to support programs for veterans at all levels of the justice system, from pre-trial, to trial, to incarceration, to re-entry.  

“Pennsylvanian’s have a long history defending this nation. There are nearly one million veterans living in the Commonwealth today and we have a responsibility to ensure that we in the criminal justice system are treating them with the attention and respect they deserve,” Chairman Josh Shapiro said.

Since 2013, PCCD, along with the Department of Human Services, has invested nearly $1 million to support veterans in the criminal justice system. This has included creating and supporting Veteran’s Courts. Currently, Pennsylvania has 18 Veteran’s Courts, amongst the most in the nation. These courts have proven successful in assisting veterans and reducing recidivism.

PCCD recognizes that many of our veterans have experienced severe trauma and are suffering as a result. That is why PCCD supports Trauma-Informed Recovery Services for Veteran’s. PCCD also has trained over 500 first-responders and allied professional in Mental Health First Aid for Veterans. It is critically important that those in our communities who are likely to be the first to respond to a veteran in crisis know how to react.  

In addition, PCCD has provided approximately $1 million towards Mental Health Housing programs. These programs are designed to help those with mental health issues who are transitioning from prison back into the community with a safe place to live while ensuring that they continue to get the treatment they need. PCCD hopes to steer eligible veterans towards this program.

“Veteran’s Day should be more than one day a year where we remember those who have served. It should stand as a reminder that the debt that we owe those who have defended our country is never ending,” said Chairman Shapiro. “PCCD is committed to ensuring that the justice system here in Pennsylvania does all that it can to support our veterans.”

Our Mission is to enhance the quality, coordination and planning within the criminal and juvenile justice systems, to facilitate the delivery of services to victims of crime, and to increase the safety of our communities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Matthew Leonard, 717.265.8539

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