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Release Number: 19-330
- For Immediate Release:
- Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
- August 20, 2019
- Contact Person:
- Public Affairs Office : email@example.com
Veteran Housing Unit
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office opens new veterans housing unit
- August 20, 2019
- Time: 11:20 AM
On Tuesday at Falkenburg Road Jail, Sheriff Chad Chronister launched a new initiative known as the Veterans Resurgence Program. The program focuses on providing incarcerated U.S. military veterans with a supportive and constructive environment to bring back their dignity.
"On average, we house more than 3,000 people within our detention facilities in Hillsborough County, and at any given time, more than 60 of these individuals have a military service background," said Sheriff Chad Chronister.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will verify each inmate's military status and benefits eligibility through the Veterans Affairs SQUARES computer program. Inmates who are verified veterans that decide to participate in the Veterans Resurgence Program will be educated on pathways to change including life skills, such as personal money management, finding employment and conflict resolution, among other topics. Every morning Monday through Friday, the participants will engage in one hour of exercise or meditation. The
veterans will also have a mental health and substance abuse risk/needs assessment, as well as group and individual therapy sessions.
Mental health staff from NaphCare and the University of South Florida Master of Social Work program will provide the inmates with a structured 8-week group therapy session on the following areas: managing anger/stress, coping with mood/anxiety issues, transition skills and planning, medical related topics, healing and recovering from trauma.
Each participant will be given a self-inventory assessment at the beginning and end of the 8-week program, as well as a periodic behavioral functioning scale to assess for overall improvement and benefit.
Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists from the VA will assist with the re-connection with benefits for those with an honorable discharge. Community organizations such as the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay will assist to help the veterans find their way back into society.
"We are giving these veterans that ended up in our jails an opportunity to feel proud again. The partnerships we have established will give them the chance to reinvent themselves and get the help they need," said Sheriff Chronister. "This is how we thank them for their service."
Interviews in English and Spanish with a veteran inmate who is participating in the Veteran Resurgence Program and video of the inside of the new housing unit is available on the HCSO Sheriff YouTube account: