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A Matter of Duty: The Continuing War Against PTSD
National Jail Exchange

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Video produced by Maine Public Broadcasting Network, 2013. 56 minutes. Jennifer Rooks and Charles C. Stuart, producers. Charles C. Stuart, writer and director.

This program provides a look into the worlds of both jail personnel and inmates who servedMatter of Duty in the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. It recounts the experiences of Kennebec County (Maine) Sheriff Randall Liberty, who served in Iraq after 24 years of law enforcement experience and returned home to face the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Four years after his return home, he began counseling therapy provided through the Veterans Administration. Based on his own situation, he was better able to understand and respond to PTSD’s effects in his staff and in veterans who found themselves in the custody of the county jail.

One result was the creation of a separate housing unit, the “veterans block,” for inmates whose experiences in military service were a contributing factor in their involvement in crime. The unit has housed veterans from the Vietnam war as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veteran-specific therapeutic care is provided through a partnership with the Veterans Administration.

The program also features insights from the presiding judge of the Maine Veterans Treatment Court, which was established in 2011, and from its graduates.

A recurring theme in the program is that veterans who have been emotionally scarred by combat or other trauma need to learn to accept help in order to manage their PTSD. Only with significant support can they overcome the barriers that PTSD places between them and a healthy emotional life, addiction recovery, employment, and family stability.

Also available at the same webpage is an extended interview with Randy Liberty and Dr. David Meyer, his counseling therapist at the V.A.

View both programs here

Posted Thu, Mar 13 2014 8:00 AM by Susan Powell


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