To commemorate Veterans Day this year, Sheriff Jeff Shrader has reopened the Veterans Housing Unit (VHU) within the Jefferson County Detentions Center. The unit reopened on November 8th and currently houses 14 military veterans. The housing unit made its debut in 2017 and proved to have incredible value to former servicemen who were incarcerated. Unfortunately, the unit was suspended during the pandemic due to the need to reduce the jail population and create more space between inmate populations.
The return of this housing unit allows our military veterans an opportunity to resume a daily regime, share experiences through group therapy, access appropriate treatment and resources, and receive re-entry assistance. “Veterans Day gives us all an opportunity to show appreciation for the sacrifices that military veterans have made to ensure our freedoms. At the Sheriff’s Office, we also recognize the need for incarcerated veterans to connect with others who have shared experiences and understand the difficult, challenging, and sometimes horrific nature of war and military service. We have learned that helping our military ultimately helps us all; therefore, we are proud to give back by reopening the veterans housing unit,” said Sheriff Shrader.
To participate in the VHU, inmates must be veterans. They must go through a screening process and cannot have any behavioral issues, but they can come from minimum, medium or maximum security units. Jeffco officials hope the veterans unit will reduce recidivism rates by providing veteran inmates with access to resources and a sense of camaraderie. Preliminary studies have shown that veteran housing units have been effective in reducing the number of repeat offenders.