U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Veterans Moving Forward: Process and Impact Evaluation Results of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department VMF Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2019
67 pages

This final report provides detailed information on the three-year process and impact evaluation of the Veterans Moving Forward program, a veteran-only housing unit for male inmates who have served in the U.S. military which is aimed at providing an environment for veterans to draw upon the positive aspects of their shared military culture, creating a safe place for healing and rehabilitation, and fostering positive peer connections.


This document provides a final report on a three-year process and impact evaluation of the Veterans Moving Forward (VMF) program, which was created by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department in 2013 and aimed at addressing the needs of the increasing population of veterans with numerous mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and depression. The report provides an overview of the research design, followed by a summary of program implementation and modifications, including input from VMF regarding the success of those efforts, the most effective components, and lessons learned. The authors’ key research objectives that guided the evaluation effort, included: documenting how a veterans-only housing unit was implemented and managed; determining if service delivery and inmate management are facilitated when veterans are housed together; and determining if veteran reentry is more successfully accomplished and cost-effective when veterans our housed together. Results from the outcome analyses discuss veterans’ behavior while in custody as well as justice system contact for the 12 months following release from custody compared to two other samples of veterans. The report also provides the results of a program cost analysis, research limitations to consider, lessons learned from the researcher-practitioner partnership, and conclusions and recommendations.

Date Published: March 1, 2019