VA Hiring New VJOs
The Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law by President Trump.
It requires the VA to hire 50 new Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists and place them at eligible VA Medical Centers throughout the US which will help facilitate a Veteran's access to VA programs and resources.
A VJOs job is to help a Veteran who is in the early stages of the criminal justice system (being charged, going to trial, etc.). However, some are skeptical that 50 VJOs will be able to get the job done as it is a 15% expansion for the department which is currently employing 314 VJOs. These VJOs are helping Veterans who are entering a Veterans Treatment Court where the goal is to send Veterans charged with drug related crimes to a rehabilitation center in hopes of reducing the likelihood that they will stay or become addicted to drugs and commit another crime.
There is a debate about what the best solution is for dealing with drug-related crimes both for Veterans and non-Veterans alike. Some people believe the above approach is the best while others think that harsh sentencing is preferable. Those who believe in the first approach should be somewhat happy about the decision above— though it is only a small expansion, the goal is to help more Veterans in need.