The Medill Justice Project is examining U.S. veterans, their challenges that often go unnoticed and how they frequently become entangled in the criminal justice system. An estimated 19.2 million veterans live in the United States, about 6 percent of the nation’s population, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau survey. A higher percentage of veterans make up state and federal prison populations as well as those on death row—about 10 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Justice study and a Death Penalty Information Center report. Veterans account for 11 percent of the homeless adult population, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. And 31 percent of service members who returned in recent years from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or major depression. The effects of such trauma—compounded by substance abuse—all too often leave veterans finding themselves serving time after serving their country.
If you have information about issues related to veterans and the criminal justice system, please contact The Medill Justice Project at email@example.com, or 847-491-5840.