Organization recieves grant to aid veterans

Milwaukee-based Dryhootch recently received an AmeriCorp grant to provide veterans and their families in Milwaukee and Wisconsin Veteran Legal Peers, a program dedicated to helping U.S. Veterans overcome obstacles they face as a result of involvement with the criminal justice system. This program  will support services to help vets in the criminal justice system access a wide array of services, including job placement, counseling, alternative sentencing, advocacy, and peer mentoring.
Of the 3.5 million Americans who served in the conflict in Vietnam, between 500,000 and 750,000 had both suffered psychological injuries and had contact with the criminal justice system. Today, over 2 million Americans have served in the conflicts In Iraq and Afghanistan. It is estimated that over 600,000 are suffering from psychological trauma or Traumatic Brain Injury.
“As this new generation returns home, a debt of care is owed to ensure that those having difficulty readjusting are simply not thrown into our prison systems as so many Vietnam era veterans were,” said Bob Curry, president of Dryhootch.
Dryhootch has partnered with Justice 2000 and plans to work with the Milwaukee district attorneys office, public defenders office and others to help veterans make a successful transition back home, Curry said.
Justice 2000 is a division of Community Advocates, Inc., and is a local leader in the efforts to increase public safety in Milwaukee County.
“With a market rise in the number of veterans being served by one or more of Justice 2000s programs we are concerned about the wellbeing of these patriots,” said Edward Gordan, program director of Justice 2000. “Justice 2000 is fully committed to working closely with Dryhootch of America to provide all possible support to bring AmeriCorps volunteers to Milwaukee to further the work of the local Veteran’s Treatment Initiative and to create avenues within the criminal justice system to enhance the quality of life for our local veterans.”
The Milwaukee District Attorney’s office is also committed to the partnership.
“A significant number of criminal cases in Milwaukee County involve criminal defendants who are military veterans. With the return of troops from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this number is only expected to grow,” said John Chisholm, Milwaukee County District Attorney. “As a part of our alternatives program my office and the Public Defender has partnered with organizations like Justice 2000 and Dryhootch on an initiative which insures that justice involved veterans are recognized for their service and receive the treatment and assistance they so often need. “

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