Navajo County Sheriff's Office opens new jail space for military veterans

The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office opened a new pod at the jail called the Housing Unit for Military Veterans, where veterans will have access to services while in custory. Above: The view from one end of the pod. The doors open to two bedrooms with a bunk bed in each. (Todd Roth/NHO)

The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office opened a new pod at the jail called the Housing Unit for Military Veterans, where veterans will have access to services while in custory. Above: The view from one end of the pod. The doors open to two bedrooms with a bunk bed in each. (Todd Roth/NHO)

HOLBROOK, Ariz. — Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse, along with the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) Detention staff opened a pod May 21 within the Navajo County Sheriff Office (NCSO) jail specifically for veterans who are held in custody.

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VFW guests and some current military veterans tour the pod May 22 with Navajo County Sheriff David Clouse. (Todd Roth/NHO)

The pod will be called the Housing Unit for Military Veterans (HUMV). People who are remanded to custody and are military veterans, will have the opportunity to be housed in this unique pod.

Clouse and members of his detention staff toured other facilities in Arizona that offer these services to veterans. Adapting these practices, Clouse and the staff developed plans that utilize resources in Navajo County to implement them in the NCSO jail. Working with the area veteran affairs offices, and local veteran organizations inmates will have access to services while in NCSO custody.

“Essentially this program is aimed at a select group of offenders who will complete a six-week course with special counselling,” one of the jail administrators explained. “This is not only in the best interest of the inmate but is a benefit to the county, since individuals who complete this vets program are much less likely to repeat offend and return here.”

The jail’s six week course covers: counselling, clergy needs, parenting, therapy, mental illness, vocational help, crisis counselling, legal services, re-entry skills, vet housing, vet outreach, vet forms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, vet resources, drug and alcohol rehab, mental illness, vocational help, crisis counselling and legal services

The inmates in this six week program live in a separate area from the other inmates. Each jail area is called a pod and some hold dozens of offenders. The pod for veterans in this program will hold up to eight individuals. Four separate bedrooms with a bunk bed in each. Presently the facility holds four veterans. They stay in this pod 24 hours a day, except for one hour outside each day, weather permitting. Their meals are delivered to them. Toilet and shower facilities are in their pod.

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