By Erica Mu[audio:https://www.veteranstodayarchives.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/WEB.Lilah_.COVER_.mp3|titles=WEB.Lilah_.COVER_]
Over the next two weeks, KALW News is bringing you stories from veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands are returning home every month, re-entering civilian life – and facing challenges and obstacles all along the way.
This first story takes us to a jail in San Bruno.
Experts estimate that about 20% of new veterans are returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Some symptoms of PTSD include erratic driving behaviors, substance abuse, and violence – all actions that can land vets in jail. And that’s the concern: that many new vets will be swept up into the criminal justice system.
In San Bruno, the San Francisco County Jail has partnered with the non-profit Swords to Plowshares to create a wing dedicated solely to veterans. It may be the first in the country. It’s called the COVER project, and the mostly-volunteer staff connects vets to resources, turning their incarceration into rehabilitation. Lilah Crews-Pless has more.