Incarcerated Veterans: Building a Therapeutic Community Within the Denver County Jail System
Date of Award
Doctoral Research Paper
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Jennifer Tippett, Psy.D.
Michael Karson, Ph.D., J.D.
Bradley McMillan, Ph.D.
Veteran, Incarcerated, Veteran Service Unit (VSU), Mental health, Cultural competency, Military culture, Justice involved veterans
Copyright held by the author. Permanently suppressed.
The following discussion addresses the implementation of a VSU within the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) facilities. Unfortunately, an investigation into the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) inmate veteran data revealed limited and inconsistent results, rendering a needs-based argument unreliable. While the available data is still informative and valuable, it remains a part of the following dialogue. Nevertheless, these deficits shift the focus of such an essential conversation to available resources recognizing the unique needs of the incarcerated veteran population. As such, the argument for a DSD, jail based VSU is constructed by existing research and government reports exploring risk factors with an emphasis on military cultural competence and related mental health concerns. Ultimately, three primary findings emerge: 1. Incarcerated veterans share a cultural identity and unique life experience that sets them apart from other inmates, 2. This impacts their risk for and during incarceration in addition to their understanding of and participation in mental health treatment and 3. Research investigating this population is sparse, largely outdated and in need of augmentation.
Spilka, Naomi, "Incarcerated Veterans: Building a Therapeutic Community Within the Denver County Jail System" (2021). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 433.