Veteran Pretrial Diversion Program

Serving veterans and their families has become a fundamental part of our work at The Lincoln Community Foundation. Through implementation of the Veteran Support Initiative we have the opportunity to work with and support a broad range of community organizations who provide direct services to these exceptional men and women. This initiative has enabled us to develop and broaden our community leadership role.

The Lincoln Community Foundation convened a community task force of legal professionals, military leaders and representatives of the county's justice system to focus on veterans involved in the criminal justice system. This resulted in the establishment of the Lancaster County Veteran Pretrial Diversion Program now in its third year.

The program recognizes the effect of traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder on those who have suffered trauma related to military service. This trauma can manifest itself through behavior resulting in a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony charge. Participants are required to comply with specific conditions such as attending treatment and performing community service. Volunteer veteran mentors serve as coach, guide, role model and advocate for the individual participants as they progress through the court process.

Veterans Diversion Programs and Veterans Courts have proven to be effective in helping veterans involved in the criminal justice system. Although the aim is to combine traditional pretrial diversion goals of increasing public safety and holding offenders accountable, it also is intended to provide timely access to VA mental health and substance use services, when clinically indicated, and other services and benefits as appropriate.

The Lincoln Community Foundation, in our role as convener and funder, is proud to be a part of Nebraska's first Veteran Pretrial Diversion Program.

Sarah Peetz
VP for Community Outreach
Lincoln Community Foundation, Inc.