Recently, Freedom Ticket talked with Milton Schoen
, director of Veterans’ Service, Hennepin
County Human Services and Public Health Department, about resources for veterans leaving corrections facilities.
How can staff from Hennepin County Veterans’ Service help residents at the Adult Corrections Facility (ACF)?
Hennepin County Veterans’ Service
staff give monthly presentations on veterans benefits at ACF
. Our staff provide information about veteran resources and services and will complete requests for military discharges for veterans at ACF
so they can get the critical documents they need to obtain benefits.
Veterans’ Service staff also will explain state veterans dental benefits, VA health care including chemical dependency treatment and other medical services to ACF
residents. Although the VA will not provide health care to incarcerated veterans and there are other benefit limitations, our staff encourage residents to contact our office so that these veterans can obtain benefits upon their release.
Our office has assisted many of the veterans that we met at ACF
after they were released from custody, such as in obtaining state benefits and VA compensation and pension. We also have referred veterans to the “Front Porch” sessions at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center where they may be able to obtain a housing voucher. Participants of this program must agree to be case managed by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.
What is the Veterans’ Court and how could it benefit ACF residents?
The Hennepin County Veterans Court
is a partnership of the Courts, County Attorney, Public Defender, Community Corrections, the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Hennepin
County Veterans’ Service. The court was established in July 2010 to provide a coordinated response to the needs and risks of veterans involved in the criminal justice system. It has served 30 veterans at this point.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys must agree to accept cases referred to the Veterans Court. Veterans appearing before the Veterans Court are not contesting their guilt and accept responsibility for their actions.
Veterans accepted by the Veterans Court are evaluated and their issues are addressed. Many of these veterans are referred to the VA Health Care System for chemical dependency treatment, mental health treatment or other services. Veterans are provided a mentor to help them navigate the Veterans Court process. The court’s main focus is to deal with the issues that bring these veterans to court with a goal of reducing recidivism.
Any suggestions for residents who are veterans and will be released from a corrections facility?
I would suggest that veterans contact Hennepin
County Veterans’ Service at 612-348-3300 upon their release from custody. Our staff would be happy to assist each veteran about their particular situation and help them in obtaining veterans benefits.
County Veterans’ Service and the VA are committed to assisting incarcerated veterans and helping them return to productive lives.
More Information for Veterans
County Veterans’ Service
Government Center, 300 South 6th
Street, SE 1st Level Room, C-152
, Minneapolis, MN 55487
(Search for veterans’ services)
Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Service Building, 20 West 12th
Street, Room 206, St. Paul, MN 55155
Phone: 651-296-2562 or 1-888-LinkVet
Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
360 Robert Street North, Suite 306, St. Paul, MN 55101
Center - Veterans Employment Services
Locations throughout MN
1-888-Get Jobs (1-888-438-5627)
Veterans’ Services in other Minnesota Counties