Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 49° Cloudy
News >  Nation

Missouri prison program recognized for veteran rehab

Associated Press

MOBERLY, Mo. – A new veterans ward in a Missouri prison is earning recognition for veteran rehabilitation.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the Missouri Veterans Project began at the Moberly Correctional Center six months ago. Its success has led to similar programs at prisons in Jefferson City, Potosi and Boonville.

The pilot program began with a post-traumatic stress disorder program. The ward now offers staff-led training and classes for mental health assistance. Fifty one of 66 available beds in the program are now filled.

“The way that you would treat mental health with veterans is different from the rest of the offender population,” said Karen Pojmann, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections. The state created a program that houses all veteran offenders together so they can participate in various treatment programs, including those for mental health issues and substance abuse. Inmates can attend classes on parenting, anger management, cognitive behavior training and victim impact.

The heart of the program is pair programming, in which veterans can teach other veterans, said Rusty Ratliff, a correctional case manager who oversees the ward.

Ratliff said the goal is to help the offenders get released despite issues many of them deal with, including substance abuse and emotional trauma from combat.

“One thing that all veterans in this unit have in common is they’re all going to be released on day,” he said. “It’s a long road to go down and I think we’re moving in the right direction by identifying a problem and now we’re just trying to work on the resources to get these guys the help I think they need.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.