tv [untitled] January 30, 2012 1:00pm-1:30pm EST
signed the interstate compact, which is a -- it's an effort to help those children who are transitioning to different states not to lose credit. not to have to take their state history from three states before they graduate from high school, or how they can get into a.p. classes, or even on to the sports teams, because they miss the tryouts. while we know, we have 39 states that cover 88% of our children, we also know that the implementation has been sketchy. so this next year we're going to be working very carefully to make sure that our states school superintendents know about the interstate compact and how it will impact military children. it's not just for military children. it's for all children who transfer, but our children move so often it was really an effort to protect them. as brad was saying, employment for military spouses is a particular interest and it falls into my portfolio.
we know the financial stability of the family often hinges on the spouse's income, too, and we know that our spouses have an unemployment rate of 26% compared to their civilian counter parts and we know they're underemployed by about 25%. and we know that they're more highly educated. 24% of our spouses have bachelor's degrees. so we have a program called the military spouse employment partnership, which it is, again, an effort to connect employers to a really great asset in their communities, and that's military spouses. and even though they're mobile, they have the leadership, adaptability and just like their service members. they are loyal. they are an excellent source of employment. so since june 29th, dr. biden launched military spouse employment. we've hired over 13,000 spouses in jobs with 100 companies that
are partnered with us to provide those opportunities for our spouses. so, again, our goal is to increase the numbers of businesses, especially for portable careers, or virtual careers so that spouses have an opportunity to have a career path and not start from scratch every time they move to a new location. i think with the reintegration piece of deployment, we consider that probably the most, the most difficult phase. separation is one thing, but reintegrating into your family after being separated for a year can be very challenging. so we are working very closely with law enforcement to ensure that there's an awareness about domestic violence, about risky behaviors, and use of alcohol so that hopefully our law enforcement is attuned to the fact that they should ask a person who they stop, have you served in oaf, oef, because it may be telling.
their behavior is based on what they lived through, not that they're trying to be not a good citizen. so i think that's really important. and as brad said, access to health and especially mental health services not only for our service members but also for their families. this has been a tremendous toll on our children in particular. it has been also a toll on spouses, because they're trying to keep the home front stabilized while their spouse is deployed, and that's challenging. and then i think we also have an emphasis on predatory lending and financial entities that prey on military families, because they know they have a paycheck coming in every month.
so we're working very closely with the new consumer federal protection board and the office of service members with mrs. petraeus to ensure that our families are safe from predatory lenders and from predatory practices. what i would like to you take away with are two things. one is that our military installations really mirror your communities. so your installation commander is basically a mayor of a town. and so whether it's churches, schools, recreation facilities, child development centers, youth centers, there is a really important connection between our community and your community, and our offices have a new initiative called community capacity building where we're working with the university of georgia and the university of north carolina, chep chapel hil really empower our helping professionals with the skills to reach out to the communities
helping professionals so that you are aware of the needs of military families, and we are aware of receipt sources you have, and you are aware of receipt sources that we can bear in this effort. it's going to take a village, if you will, to really support these families, because they're out in your communities, and a lot of times they seek the support of their neighbors, and one of the great things about joining forces is that these random acts of kindness, whether it's from the larger city or the neighbor next door or the person you go to church with, that that is really important that we all see the little acts of kindness that can really make an impact on how they can manage the stressors of the military lifestyle. and so the last thing i would like to leave with is, it's an, also an administration initiative. it's called "let's move." mrs. obama has been a spokesperson for preventing childhood obesity, and the department of defense considers this a national security issue, because we know that 17 to
24-year-olds, only 25% of our youth, are eligible to enter the military. whether it's for physical -- they're not physically fit. they're obese. they have had some problems with the law or they don't meet the education standards. but obesity is preventable. so she has an initiative called "let's move cities and towns" where the mayors commit to making physical activity, better nutrition and reduced screen time a focus of their administration. we are taking that model, and we are developing a "let's move" installation so that our installation commanderm, as mayors of their installation, also get on the bandwagon, because we find that it's critical not only for the well-being of our families but for our future force. the army, for example, has extended their boot camp for a week, because of the physical if iness aptitudes of their
troops. and that's scary because it's more costly. they are having more musculoskeletal injuries. we need to put ourselves in front of this issue. the other issue is health costs. we know that if we do this and we do it right, we will save our health affairs and tricare management and some very significant dollars in their health costs. so i leave you that little tidbit that if you can go back to your communities and think supports military children but about it i think it not only supports military children but it supports all of your future force, and your future citizens. thank you. >> thank you very, very much, ms. thompson. ms. thompson also touched on an issue for our next speaker that is very important. i know as mayors we often see veterans by no choice of their
own homeless, or in trouble with the law because of the their lack of resources, whether it be mental health issues, access to jobs, or even just simple access to a roof over their head. i was really excited to hear about this program. our next speaker is actually matt steiner. he's the director of development and outreach for justice for veterans. matt is a fourth generation marine who received combat action ribbons for his service in "operation iraqi freedom." following an honorable discharge from the marine corps attended oklahoma state university where he received his b.a. in political science. he received and m.a. in public administration from the university of oklahoma. matt is here to talk about veteran treatments court and how they are impacting lives in our communities. i know actually in the state of florida, tampa has rolled out their veterans court as well as broward county also the hometown
where i'm at, hallandale beach in florida, they're moving forward with this program. the u.s. conference of mayors has endorsed this program by acts of resolution. and we're here at mayors to partner, hopefully, to again build a public awareness and actually use our positions in local government to encourage local court systems in our communities to implement this type of diversionary program to help prevent the incarceration of veterans that have served our country, more importantly get their services and get the links of the services that are out there. so let's welcome mr. steiner, and i'll turn it over to him. >> thank you very much, mayor cooper and mayor mcelveen, for hosting and allowing me to speak. like mayor cooper said, four years in the marine corps as a grunt.
i received the combat action ribbon. after oklahoma state worked for the mayor of tulsa, mayor kathy taylor, actually a part of this distinguished group and presented many times. i can tell you i definitely have firsthand experience what it's like to work in local government and i think several times in the mayor's office i felt like i was back in combat in iraq with some of the issues we were dealing with on the local political level. but it really was when i worked for mayor kathy taylor that she implemented the third veterans treatment corps in the nation. she used the power and being the chief executive of the municipality of the community to rally the support of the district attorney of office, court judiciary, veteran service organizations, the v.a. to put a stand to stop having veterans becoming homeless, suicidal, ending up incarcerated. that's how i fell into this role. after i worked for the mayor of tulsa, kathy taylor, i actually coordinated the tulsa veterans treatment court, and we became a national model. i can tell you while i went to
grad school at the same time, i can tell you getting out of the marine corps i never thought this would be my business, but it's something i'm passionate about and certainly something every mayor here can implement in their community. and today i'm going to go through my power point. i know everybody's busy, so i'll try to keep it short and brief. my contact information is in my folder. please feel free to contact me anytime. we know the issues. we've been at war about ten years now. we've never deployed our military like this before in the history of our nation. several united states have gone, like captain cooper said. seven tours. that's unprecedented. i know my grandfather wen to world war ii, stayed in the pacific until the job was done and came back. a lot of my friends have been on multiple tours. because of that, traumatic brain injury, you can be simply on a convoy a bomb hit inside maybe a dead dog or daisy chain underneath the ground, cell phone detonating explosion
will happen, and it rattles the brain to the service member. that causes traumatic brain injury. slightly less than 50 percent of our service members with tbi also have post-traumatic stress disorder. although a lot of our veterans do come back strengthened by their military service, there are quite a few suffering. so because of that problem, one in six veterans have a substance abuse disorder. one in six coming back into your cities and communities have a substance abuse disorder. one in five have a mental health condition. as result, some turn to drugs or alcohol because of as a result of their service. you can literally have all the resources out there, but such a macho environment being in the military, nobody's going to raise their hand and say, hey, corporal, can we hug it out? can we talk about our feelings? i'm having mental health issues simply isn't going to happen and as result sadly they turn to drugs or alcohol.
because of that, some end up in the criminal justice system like we're seeing and like with this phenomenon of veterans treatment courts. instead of incarceration we want to give them rehabilitation which the solution is veterans treatment courts. now, veterans treatment courts a history of these. they fall into the history of drug courts. the first drug court began in 1989 in miami-dade, florida. at the time miami was experiencing, miami-dade county, too many drug non-violent offenders coming through the criminal justice system. recidivism was extremely high. a judge down there by the name of stanley goldstein created drug court. today about 2,500 drug courts in all 50 states. they save money, cut crime and now they are serving veterans. 75% of those who graduate a drug court never see a pair of handcuffs again. so by sending somebody to jail or prison which costs the state -- in oklahoma, for example, $23,000 a year, it costs about $5,000 to $6,000 to send them through a drug court.
they're working. so because of that infrastructure drug courts were able to have veterans treatment courts. the history of veteran treatment courts. a good friend of mine in buffalo, new york had an amazing idea. he saw so many veterans coming through on mental health dockets and wanted to do something about it. he started the first veterans drug court in 2008 in buffalo, new york. now, these courts are different because they're a hybrid of drug and mental health courts. traditionally you keep those separated. the frequent court appearances, random drug tests. it provides veterans with intensive treatment and other services while holding them accountable to the court, their families and themselves. i want to give the structure of a veterans treatment corps briefly. the veterans health administration, veterans benefit administration, service organizations that are in your community like the american legion, veterans of foreign wars, blue star mother, marine corps league. vet center. state department of veteran affairs that participate in these.
department of labor. disabled veterans outreach, local veterans employment reps the state county bar associations that also participate. and when i was in oklahoma, a member of senator jim inhofe advisory council. the department of defense congressional office would come to help out with the dd-14s, medical records. and other agencies. my point is each city that you live in, that you govern, has a v.a. hospital. you're within reach of a v.a. regional office. you're not necessarily creating a new, another bureaucracy with the veterans treatment corps. you're simply allocating all the resources that are there anyways. thousands that work. perfect example. when i coordinated in tulsa a gentleman two tour iraq combat veteran there for the surge. post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, on the second dui, suicidal. in the tulsa county jail. never enrolled in the veterans
health administration or never enrolled in the veterans benefit administration that center any veterans service. unemployed, divorced and lost skoefd his son. however, about six months later, tony, we got him enrolled in advanced health care. he leads a substance abuse group. we got him service connected with the veterans administration. he gets about $1,034 a month tax-free which he uses back into the economy for apartment rent. qualified for vocational rehabilitation employment as a disabled veterans. he's in his first semester at the university of tulsa getting his undergrad. he'll be the first person in his family to get a college education. somebody that was suicidal, had given up, now is going to be a college graduate back in the city of tulsa. tulsa community. goes to the vet center regularly and got custody of his son because the local bar association helped him out. what he was most excited about when he got his disability rating, the oklahoma department of veterans affairs qualified him for free hunting and free
fish, which to me was ironic. no, tony. you get free college. you're set for life. he was more stoked about getting a free fishing license for the state of oklahoma. now there's about 88 veterans treatment courts in the nation. we were third in december of 2008. now there's 88. hundreds more being planned. just keeping up with demand is pretty tough. it really is changing the way that our criminal justice system and the v.a. treats veterans. veteran courts today, all over the news. "cbs evening news." cnn. when we launched in tulsa, mtv cnn came down, fox news. incredible. we're in tulsa, oklahoma. what's going on here? stars and stripes. the national law journal. military times, marine corps, navy, air force, army time, all covered these. and who we are justice for vets. a part of the national
association of drug corps professionals. the national association actually was there from the get-go. we started the whole drug court movement. judge robert russell, the gentleman who started the firstv veterans treatment court was actually a former board chair of ours and now on our treatment court committee." that's why we've been able to implement all these veterans treatment courts so far. we actually started the veterans treatment court planning initiative funded by the department of justice five-day training program. we've trained about so far 32 veterans treatment courts with a total of 300 individuals. we actually have another training going on in san jose in a couple of weeks we're going to train ten more teams and we have three more trains after that for a total of 40 veterans treatment courts. through our veterans treatment court mentor courts. four veterans treatment mentor courts. one in buffalo, one in tulsa, santa clara county and orange county. we actually pay for folks to visit a veterans treatment court to learn how do one in all-day training.
also justice for vets part of the national association of drug court professional, at our 17th annual nadc drug court training conference we host the largest gathering of veterans treatment courts professionals in the nation. we had all of the veterans justice youth reach from the v.a. hospital there, panel sessions, targeting mentoring, our national guard, you name it, we hosted it. we trained it. we had a really good friend of mine now who spoke at the conference to over 3,700 veterans treatment court, drug court professionals. nick did two tours in -- afghanistan, one tour in iraq and simply stated for me, the battle began when i came home. judge patricia marks and the veterans court team saved his life. he was picked up for prescription drug use. post-traumatic stress disorder and he actually will graduate this fall with his -- no, this
spring with his under grad in substance abuse counseling to help other veterans from the university of new york, rockport. we've been on capitol hill several times. we hosted the first senate judiciary committee hearing on veterans treatment courts. been before the house committee on veterans affairs. i'd also like to take the time to thank captain cooper for support and the first lady's support. our training is mentioned in strengthening our families meeting america's commitment by the white house as one of the many best practices to help veterans and their families. mrs. thompson talked about and captain cooper, employment. keeping families together. suicides. veterans treatment courts do solve all of these problems, and they're working. some of our outreach are really the person behind this is general barry mccaffrey who doesn't hesitate to recognize that he outranked me by 23 pay grades every time we talk. we recently met with general
craig mckinley at the chief of the national guard bureau. like ms. thompson said, we've got a lot of our reserve and national guard members deployed in the war on terror who aren't necessarily attached to an active duty military base but are in your cities, are in your communities. so in tulsa, for example we opened our doors to take active guard members, active members and guard veterans as well. serving those folk whose are your neighbors, that go to school with your children. and to really wrap it up, state legislation, we've helped california, colorado, illinois, oregon, texas, virginia, develop veterans treatment court legislation. right now we're helping maine, the great state of oklahoma where i'm from, and several other states as well to develop veterans treatment court legislation. one of the first things i did when i came on board to justice for vets was to gain support of the most prestigious and most respected veterans service organizations. the marine corps league, amvets,
blue star mothers, veterans of foreign war, the american legion, disabled american veteran, national association of state directors of veterans affairs have all come onboard with public support for veterans treatment courts. these organizations are in your communities and they do vote. so veterans vote in the mayor's office. other are support, criminal justice system, national district attorneys association, american bar association, american judges association. our veterans treatment court committee is chaired by general barry mccaffrey and under his leadership we've been able to implement and get a lot of veterans treatment court, a lot of policy implemented so far, but are really just hitting the tip of the ice, tip of the spear with this. there definitely is a need. in tulsa, we're getting 150 veterans arrested alone each month. we didn't have an active duty military base. because we had a high veteran population, getting that many arrested.
to end up, thank you very much for your time. if i can ever answer any questions, i hope i didn't go too fast. never hesitate to send me an e-mail, and i really appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you very, very much. thank you to all the presenters. i would like to open it up for questions now, if anyone has any questions for our presenters. i guess i'll start out. captain cooper, you talked about some centers and where they're at. how do we link in -- for example, my city. we have a human services department. how do we link into that and tell us a little bit more where the centers are or how they're derived and located. >> i think what we're talking about, the department of labor, called one stops. thousands throughout the country. i am no one-stop expert but can tell you with that many, many
opportunities in south florida and around big cities throughout the country i've recently gone online and used that mighty google apparatus and they're easy to find, easy to access. manned by great folks, and enablers. people who understand what the local market look likes and can take and recognize skill sets and help individuals, veterans in particular, massage their resume to help it more closely align with that pool that reservoir of opportunity. but easy to find. kind of on a larger scale, also for anyone who's near a v.a., v.a. medical center, folks can go there and help on the educational side as well as the unemployment side of it. or simply go to google. i'm a little too reliant on them to the veterans job bank and literally type in, if i'm
sergeant cooper or petty officer cooper from the navy and i'm an electrician. type in a great translation piece to type in what my military occupation code is. it will translate that, and i can even type in where i'm interested in working. i'm an electrician, interested in montgomery, alabama. it will show me jobs that align with my pay grade, my background and what those jobs are in montgomery, alabama. a pretty sophisticated tool for folks to use. i would say between those couple pieces, we're in a much better place, and they're all new. brand new. only two months old. good opportunities there. >> mayor from new jersey. i was approached several months ago by a young lady, i believe she was veteran, but she wanted
to set up a -- a transitional home for returning single parent mothers with the children and have an educational component, plus transition back into the workforce, and she ran into a road block somewhere. is there any place you can recommend she can pick on for contact? would that be the list you were referring to before, the google thing? >> i can -- i can give you an idea. so this is -- what i would say, this kind of fits into the category of we like to use, everyone can do something, and do what you do best. if this young lady thinks this is what she can do best, my recommendation in her case is probably go to a local v.a., v.a. and housing and hud have teamed to really attack led by secretary shinseki, the head of the v.a., to attack veterans homelessness. and they've made tremendous progress. try to end it by 2015.
we're on a good trajectory. i'd say first go to local v.a. or hud office to help this. and they can arm this particular individual with all the tools they would want from an educational standpoint, employment. because it really is a holistic -- you need to attack this holistically, simply working on education without addressing the homeless component or employment leaves three legs of the stool empty and won't be able to sustain itself. that would be my recommendation for starters. >> if i could add, i would also go to the small business administration. they have grants for veterans and military spouses for entrepreneur opportunities, and so they could probably help her are with a loan to get started on you know, setting up the home and what she would need to furnish it and things like that. >> thank you. >> i'll take one final question.
>> i'll take one final question. barbara and matt touched on this. you had talked about sensitivity training for our police forces and our mayors, that's our core service to our community. and link between your program and the diversion program and what models we can take home to share with our police departments to either intercede or earmark these programs to say, you know, where can we send them and maybe you both can partner with that question and answer. >> the one resource that i would recommend as a reference point is the defense center of excellence for psychological health and traumatic brain injury has a website that is amazing as far as the resources about what are the issues facing the military members and their
families. they also have the national center for telehealth and technology. it's called t-2. they have free mobile apps for military members and families that talk about ptsd, mood, how to learn how to deep breathe to offset the stress. so there are a lot of resources out there that address awareness of what are the red flags about mental health and psychological health and traumatic brain injury. so that is another good step for them to take. they can be aware of the impact of deployment on families and on service members. keep in mind a lot of law enforcement are veterans. so they kind of do understand that culture a lot of them. in tulsa, for example, we did a lot of education with the va and the tulsa police department. something we ended up doing with