Improving Outcomes for Justice-Involved Vets with PTSD

In collaboration with the Veterans History Project, the National Institute of Corrections hosted a panel discussion in anticipation of PTSD Awareness month on May 15, 2019 at the Library of Congress. The panel discussion brings awareness to post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans who may be struggling to deal with their experiences from the military, particularly those who have been deployed to a combat zone.

It illuminated law enforcement programs at several locations across the country, from small towns to large cities, and highlighted how each jurisdiction went about creating and implementing teams or programs to improve practices meant to serve veterans who are in crisis. Law enforcement officers, and Veteran Justice Outreach specialists from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and community-based agency representatives collaborate to implement approaches to calm down veterans in crisis in our communities. These programs are improving public safety. They are creating opportunities for veterans struggling to re-acclimate to civilian life. These traumatized men—and increasingly women—receive the help they need to address mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, related to their military experiences. This is a far better resolution than becoming incarcerated or otherwise involved in the criminal justice system.

The panel included key representatives from several jurisdictions, sharing their stories and experiences working with veterans in crisis in their communities and how their innovative efforts are making a difference.

Law Enforcement’s Innovative Approach to Assisting PTSD-Afflicted Veterans in Crisis


  • Ken Lopez, Library of Congress
  • Stephen Amos, Chief, Jails Division, National Institute of Corrections (NIC)
  • Brief Remarks: Jonathan Thompson, CEO, National Sheriffs' Association (NSA)
  • Key Note: Officer Jonathan Guider and Nick Blalock, US Air Force Veteran
  • Moderator: Jonathan Elias



  • Chief Blair Myhand, Clayton, NC
  • Officer Jonathan Guider, Clayton, NC
  • Officer Nicholas Hurst, New Castle, DE
  • Evan Seamone, Swords to Plowshares, San Francisco, CA
  • Sheriff Mark Lamb, Pinal County, AZ
  • Thor Eells, Colorado Springs, CO