“According to the fact sheet issued by the National Center for PTSD, “Almost half of all male Vietnam theater veterans currently suffering from PTSD had been arrested or in jail at least once — 34.2% more than once – and 11.5% had been convicted of a felony.”The criminal justice system is [now] facing many similar issues relating to PTSD endured by veterans of the current wars that it has faced for years with Vietnam veterans. “One researcher has posited theories as to why veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may be more vulnerable to PTSD…. Those theories include the following
- Because of the lack of a formal battlefront, soldiers deal with constant threat and combat uncertainty.
- Many of the troops are from National Guard units, as such, these soldiers frequently receive much less training than active duty units.
- Tours of duty are long and they frequently include direct combat exposure.
- Many military service members face redeployment.
This approach to mindfulness is the heart of the VPoM programs working with veterans. The Department of Justice has found that incarcerated veterans make the most progress in rehabilitation if they are worked with as a unit. To this end many states have established veterans’ dorms within the prison situation. VPoM has made a number of presentations of its mindfulness approach in prisons in Florida and Colorado and is following up with support for these groups. The detrimental effects of combat exposure on mental health have long been recognized. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, newly recognized Moral Injury and elevated rates of suicide and violence are common among returning veterans. We are also in negotiations with additional veterans' dorms prison administrators to present VPoM mindfulness training programs with a correspondence course on the view and practice of mindfulness, taking advantage of ongoing scientific research.