Incarcerated Veterans Program
PCS is committed to working with veterans.
PCS is partnering with the Pierce County Veterans Bureau and the Pierce County Jail to provide AVP workshops for incarcerated veterans. We have done over 40 of these workshops since 2015 and are scheduled to do one every other month from here on out, alternating with workshops at the Tacoma Recovery Cafe.
Our veterans range from Vietnam era through Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of them admit to serious PTSD. Many are incarcerated from self-medicating their pain and stress. Some have been homeless. Most face charges for drug use or violence.
Our veterans, and especially our combat veterans, are trained to be quickly reactive. In combat their lives and the lives of their comrades’ depend on quick decisive response. This essential training serves them well in active duty, but becomes a handicap in civilian life. AVP is teaching them to think before reacting and teaching them alternatives that are more adaptive to civilian life.
Many of our workshop participants are telling us they wish they had had this sort of training on leaving the service and they wish every vet could have it as part of demobilization.
Pierce County has special veterans courts and mental health courts. As our AVP program is becoming well-established, it seems our workshops are helping veterans through these specialty courts and beginning to get these courts to recognize AVP as a program that helps keep veterans out of prison and helps them be successful in treatment programs and community supervision.
Conference Presentation on our incarcerated veterans work.
Our Next Phase for Our Veterans Project
The veterans in our jail workshops are clear – they want to continue when they get out of jail. They want opportunities for workshops for and with their fellow vets, their spouses and families. Some want to become workshop leaders and we want to train them to join our teams. We want to train and equip more veterans team to do more and more workshops, to provide this work outside of jails and prisons and reach veterans before they get there.
For every $2,750 we raise for our veterans project we can offer 20 scholarships for a three day Transforming Conflict workshop. If you can help, find our donation button and tag your donation to the Veterans Project.