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VEterans incarcErated COMMITTEE REPORT

BY WAYNE MILLER, CHAIR
The Veterans Incarcerated Committee is a standing national committee in accordance with the Constitution of the Vietnam Veterans of America Article 1, Section 7, Paragraph B, and further defined in Appendix II. The Veterans Incarcerated Committee develops advocacy programs to address the special needs of veterans who are presently or formerly incarcerated. The committee works with various state and federal agencies to develop programs to assist the successful reentry of veterans incarcerated into society.

The committee interacts with all other committees in an advisory capacity. The committee looks for issues that could be reshaped to help develop programs for this special-needs group of veterans.

Many committee members have been in law enforcement or state corrections positions. Special advisers have backgrounds in criminal law, veterans law, and not-for-profit reentry programs, as well as federal and state political experience.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Helped the Department of Justice publish a special ongoing report in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prepared testimony for the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees and attended presentations on veterans incarcerated issues as a special-needs group;

Wrote the White Paper on Veterans Incarcerated that is on the VVA web site;

Conducted an annual review of Veterans Incarcerated Committee Resolutions;

Attended meetings with the Department of Veterans Affairs on veterans incarcerated issues and programs;

Attended the National GAINS Center workshop, which sets policies within the Department of Justice.

DELIVERABLES
Supported and added language that allows grants for veterans incarcerated programs from the Department of Justice

Amended H.R.-1704 and S.-1934 (Second Chance Act) to address programs to help veterans incarcerated back into society. This was not passed
in the 109th Congress; however, based on conversations with staff on the Congressional Judiciary Committees, the bills will be reintroduced in the 110th Congress;

Continuing review and recommendations regarding Veterans Incarcerated Committee Resolutions;

Advocated to have various state corrections departments focus on using the New York veterans incarcerated program model. An example is the state of Ohio’s program;

Rewrote the White Paper to include recent updates;

Published a 17-page paper, “The Causes of Veteran Incarceration, Available Remedies, and Prospective Savings,” on the VVA web site. The paper has been forwarded pending final review.

ONGOING ACTIVITiES
Maintain VVA as the only VSO with an active interest in veteran incarcerated issues;

Write a bill that has the GOA conduct a study of incarcerated veterans;

Outreach to veterans: Educate members of Congress that veterans incarcerated must be a separate line item in the VA budget and that the VA must be accountable to Congress and VSOs by explaining how outreach is being accomplished and improved as mandated in H.R. 1704 and S. 1934;

Monitor the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission for any reduction in veterans incarcerated benefits;

Monitor the Department of Veterans Affairs veterans incarcerated program.

Chair: Wayne Miller. Members: Leverett Hobbs, Bill Homer, Terry Hubert, Joe Jennings, Don Little, Allen Manuel, Tom Meinhardt, and Charlie Montgomery. Special Advisers: Jim Fagen, Ron Humprey, John Koprowski, Carol Scott, and Sue Verbeke. Staff Coordinator: Elaine Chaney.

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