Dismantling America’s Largest Sleeper Cell: The Imperative to Treat, Rather Than Merely Punish, Active Duty Offenders with PTSD Prior to Discharge from the Armed Forces

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Seamone, Evan R.
PTSD treatment; Combat veterans; Armed forces; Active duty offenders; Military offenders; Military, War, and Peace
article description
By separating combat veterans with uniquely military discharges that make many ineligible for effective PTSD treatment, the active duty armed forces are creating a class of future offenders, specially trained to be lethal, whose violent acts against themselves, their families, and the public collectively amass more casualties, incur more costs, and drain more resources in the homeland than the underlying traumatic episode in the war zone. The obligation to treat these offenders and help them successfully transition to civilian society with preserved VA benefits before discharge is not merely a laudatory goal of therapeutic jurisprudence, but a mandate under the precautionary principle which guides the laws of public health and safety. To meet this obligation, the military must work collaboratively with civilian agencies while offenders are still under military control. Mutual self-preservation demands this.