McCormick grant helps veterans help veterans

Starting this year, veterans appearing before judges in Cook County will receive help from fellow veterans at the University of Chicago through the university’s Veteran Restorative Justice Project. The project will be funded for the next two years by the McCormick Foundation.

Through the project, qualified veterans who are students at the University of Chicago will provide resources, counseling, support and pro-bono services to veterans involved with the Cook County Veterans Treatment Court.

The VA created the VTC to assists those who have served in the United States military and have found themselves in the criminal justice system. Acknowledging that some veterans may suffer from the effects of post- traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, drug and alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse problems, the court tries to reduce veterans’ risk of further involvement in the criminal justice system in the future and to improve their overall quality of life.

Jesse Brown VA Medical Center works with the Veterans Treatment Court to engage Veterans in treatment and rehabilitation programs that facilitate recovery, aid in readjusting to community life, and helps them avoid probation violations and new crimes.

“Our military-affiliated population at University of Chicago is committed to removing barriers for our brothers and sisters. This is but one of several ways in which our students can engage the community at- large, give back, and continue serving,” says Dr. Terrell Odom, director of the U of C’s Office of Military-Affiliated Communities, which oversees the project. “I thank the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Cook County Courts, and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center for their support on this project.”

For an article in the Hyde Park Herald about the program, click here.

For more on the Veterans Treatment Court, click here.

For more News You Can Use, click here.

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