A program that helps veterans in the criminal justice system needs veteran mentors

A program designed to steer veterans charged with non-violent offenses out of the criminal justice system and into support services is looking for a few good men and women to act as mentors.

The Cumberland County Attorney’s Office Veterans Diversion Program is seeking military veterans who can work with program participants as they navigate the diversion process and receive services, according to an announcement from the office.

The goal of the diversion program is to reduce veterans’ contact with law enforcement and reduce the number of incarcerated veterans.

The program often helps veterans struggling with substance abuse who have become involved in criminal activity and those whose behavior may be the result of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or other issues. related to their time in the military.

Mentors who have served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, or their corresponding Reserve or Guard branches, must work one-on-one with veterinarians to offer encouragement and advice.

Applicants do not need a legal background or other experience, but should be good listeners who are willing to spend the time necessary to understand the mentee’s needs, according to the attorney’s office.

Mentor training is offered and participants are required to connect weekly with their assigned veteran, either by phone or in-person meeting.

To apply as a mentor, visit the New Jersey State Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs website.

For more information, contact Lt. Jasmin Calderon at 856-453-0486, ext. 11108 or Veterans@co.cumberland.nj.us.

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Matt Gray can be reached at mgray@njadvancemedia.com.