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Veterans Justice Outreach Program: VA Could Improve Management by Establishing Performance Measures and Fully Assessing Risks

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Technical Report

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U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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Most veterans transition to civilian life trouble-free. For those who struggle with their transition to the point that they are arrested and jailed, VA created the VJO Program, which connects veterans with supports and services to help avoid re-incarceration. The program relies on VJO specialists to link veterans to treatment. GAO was asked to review the management of the VJO Program. This report examines 1 how the program delivers services and the number and characteristics of veterans in the program, 2 the extent to which VA uses performance assessment of the program, and 3 the key challenges VA has identified and the extent to which VA has developed mitigation strategies. GAO obtained VA data on program participants for fiscal years 2012 through 2015 reviewed documents interviewed VA officials and staff from nine areas served by a VA medical center and selected for their geographic diversity and differences in the structures of local criminal justice systems and in three of the areas interviewed criminal justice system stakeholders and veterans. While information from these interviews cannot be generalized, they provide insights on program challenges and operations.

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