The Veterans Justice Commission is examining the extent and nature of veterans’ involvement in the criminal justice system and developing recommendations for evidence-based policy changes that enhance safety, health, and justice.
Launched in August 2022, the Commission is assessing the risk factors that drive veterans’ justice-system involvement, the adequacy of transitional assistance for military service members as they reenter civilian life, and the effectiveness of the justice system response when veterans break the law.
The Commission is chaired by former U.S. Defense Secretary and U.S. Senator Charles Hagel and includes former defense secretary and White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta as well as 13 other leaders representing veterans, the military, the Veterans Administration, community advocates, and various sectors of the justice system.
Honoring Service, Advancing Safety: Supporting Veterans From Arrest Through Sentencing
Who's a Veteran? Challenges in Defining and Identifying Veteran Status
Who qualifies as a veteran, and why does it matter? The lack of a uniform definition has important implications for justice-involved veterans.
From Service Through Reentry: A Preliminary Assessment of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System
A preliminary assessment of the current evidence about American veterans’ interactions with the civilian criminal justice system reviews four categories: risk factors, transition from service, and the so-called front and back ends of the justice system.
Dr. Andrea Finlay, PhD
Veterans Administration Center for Innovation to Implementation
Mississippi Department of Corrections
Sheriff of Travis County, Austin, TX (ret.)
Justice Eileen C. Moore
Army Nurse Corps, United States Army
Hon. Leon Panetta
U.S. Department of Defense
Former White House Chief of Staff
Former U.S. Congressman (CA)
Patton III, EdD
8th Master Chief Petty Officer of the
U.S. Coast Guard (ret.)
Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas
United States Marine Corps (ret.)
Dr. Ronald Self, PhD
Veterans Healing Veterans
from the Inside Out
Former U.S. Marine
Dr. Jo Sornborger, PsyD
Operation Mend, UCLA Health
Front-End Advisory Committee Members
Transition Advisory Committee Members
Ryan Else – Criminal Defense Attorney
Brock Hunter – Criminal Defense Attorney
Brigadier General David MacEwen – U.S. Army (ret.)
Robin Olsen – Principal Policy Associate, Justice Policy Center
Barbara Pierce – Director of Justice Initiatives, Crime and Justice Institute
Evan Seamone – U.S. Army (ret.); Fellow, National Institute of Military Justice
Wesley Smith – Researcher, Texas Department of Corrections
About the Art
The banner design was created by an adult in custody designer in the Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) Graphic Design program. The mission of OCE, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Corrections, is to promote public safety by providing adults in custody with work and training opportunities in a self-sustaining organization.
Support for the Veterans Justice Commission comes from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Just Trust, the National Football League, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, T. Denny Sanford, Southern Company Foundation, and the Wilf Family Foundations as well as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, #StartSmall, and other CCJ general operating contributors.