Incarceration Rates Among Female Veterans
Female veterans face unique challenges when transitioning from military to civilian life. One of these challenges is the higher risk of incarceration. Although veterans are generally less likely to be incarcerated than non-veterans, the situation for female veterans paints a slightly different picture.
Approximately 1,800 women veterans in the U.S. are incarcerated1. The types of crimes women veterans tend to commit suggest struggles with reintegration into society.
Furthermore, compared to non-veterans, a higher percentage of veterans were incarcerated in US prisons and jails for sexual offenses but a lower percentage for other types of crimes. Women veterans have a higher rate of unemployment compared to male veterans3. This economic instability can increase the likelihood of criminal behavior. Single mothers or female veterans who have experienced trauma may also face additional challenges that could contribute to higher incarceration rates.
Incarcerated female veterans may face higher degrees of trauma, which can contribute to their criminal behavior. Such trauma may include military sexual trauma (MST), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. Addressing the issue of incarceration among female veterans requires a multifaceted approach. It's crucial to provide support services that address the unique challenges faced by these women, such as mental health services, employment assistance, and resources for single mothers. In conclusion, while the overall incarceration rate among veterans might be lower, the specific challenges female veterans face need targeted attention and intervention to reduce their risk of incarceration.
Like all veterans, incarcerated veterans deserve support and resources that can help them reintegrate into society after their release. Several programs and services exist to assist these individuals, focusing on areas such as healthcare, employment, and housing.
The Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) Program is designed to help incarcerated veterans successfully reintegrate back into the community after their release1. The HCRV program provides outreach and pre-release assessment services for veterans in prison2.
Health Care Services
The VA's Health Care for Re-entry Veterans Services and Resources program is designed to promote success and prevent homelessness among veterans returning home after incarceration.
Veterans are entitled to many resources designed to help them search for employment. For instance, the EDD veterans' representatives specialize in assisting veterans with their employment needs.
Programs like the Incarcerated Veterans Program address readjustment issues, focusing on continuing substance abuse recovery, anger, and aggression management.
The Veterans Incarcerated and in the Justice System program promotes awareness about the special needs of veterans who are presently or formerly incarcerated. Similarly, the Salute Vets website assists attorneys representing veterans in criminal court. These resources are designed to provide incarcerated veterans with the necessary support to navigate their unique challenges and successfully reintegrate into society.