Support for Balanced Justice and Rehabilitation for Justice-Involved Veterans [2018]

Justice-involved veterans face increased behavioral health (e.g., mental health and substance abuse) issues and are more likely to be incarcerated for a violent offense compared to nonveterans. Despite the large number of veterans involved in the justice system, there is a paucity of research examining public opinion of sanctioning approaches for justice-involved veterans. The current study seeks to fill this gap by sampling 575 undergraduate students at a large university in the south to examine support for sanctioning approaches for nonviolent and violent justice–involved veterans. Multinomial logistic regression was conducted to examine whether beliefs regarding the treatment of justice-involved veterans (e.g., whether veterans deserve access to rehabilitation programs, the ability of veterans to be rehabilitated, whether veterans are willing to work toward rehabilitation, and the effectiveness of treatment programs for veterans) relate to support for balanced justice. Findings suggest support for a balanced justice approach to sanctioning violent justice–involved veterans, while support for a rehabilitation-oriented approach to sanctioning nonviolent justice–involved veterans. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Cassandra A. Atkin-Plunk, Lincoln B. Sloas

Criminal Justice Review, August 21, 2018