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Maricopa County, Ariz., to house veterans together in same jail

  |   Dec. 12, 2013 at 9:02 AM
PHOENIX, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Military veteran inmates in Maricopa County, Ariz., will be housed together and provided with services to ease back into the community, the sheriff said.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced the new veterans-only section at Towers Jail in Phoenix Wednesday while addressing a group of veterans.

"I believe we have to do everything we can for our veterans," he told the group. "Many of you who have fought for our country are here. Some of you, unfortunately, have some medical-mental problems I want to make sure that's rectified. I want to make sure we do everything we can to find a job for you when you leave this jail."

Many of the 250 veterans in detainment suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other mental health issues, the Arizona Republic of Phoenix reported Wednesday.

Housing the inmates together will make it easier for prison authorities to provide counseling, job training and other services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, jail officials said.

"While they're here we're going to make the best use of [the outpatient substance abuse program and inmate transition services as] we can. Our intention is for them to be successful when they leave the jail," said Sgt. Jennifer Perks, who supervises those programs.

Inmate Jesus Garcia, a former Army specialist, said veterans can relate to each other's emotional scars.

"We can talk to each other," he said. "It's a bond."

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