It is becoming more apparent nationwide that military veterans who enter the prison system cannot be treated just like any other inmate. Veterans often deal with unresolved military experiences and emotions through coping mechanisms such as alcoholism, aggression, violence, and even crime. Now, the prison system in Florida is seeking to address these issues and help incarcerated military veterans better adjust to civilian life when they are released.
According to The New York Times, Florida is one of a currently small group of states that have been rethinking how imprisoned military veterans should be treated so that they have an easier time transitioning back to civilian life. Many of these veterans fell into a life of crime because they did not receive the treatment they deserved the moment they came home.
In August 2011, Florida created a program specific to incarcerated military veterans. It provides separate dorms in five of Florida's prisons for incarcerated veterans who were honorably discharged, who have a maximum of three years left on their sentence, and who volunteered for the program. As of now, 300 of the state's 6,700 imprisoned veterans are participating in the program, which adheres to the discipline and procedures of military custom. For many of the inmates, this returns a sense of pride, unity, and of right and wrong that may have been lost. They are required to adhere to higher standards of behavior than inmates in the general population, and are also provided with information on how to receive benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and preparation classes to help them transition into the professional, mental, and emotional routines of civilian life.
It is the hope that this program will help military veterans better adjust to civilian life and never fall back into the prison system again. If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, there may be extenuating circumstances that could affect the severity of the charge and/or sentence, but without the help of an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney, these circumstances may never be addressed. Call the aggressive criminal defense lawyers at Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057 for a confidential consultation. We are committed to protecting your legal rights.