skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

CDA 13-279 – HSR Study

CDA 13-279
Justice-Involved Veterans: Mental Health and Substance Use Care of Young Adults
Andrea K. Finlay, PhD
VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Funding Period: August 2014 - July 2019
Veterans involved in the criminal justice system are a highly vulnerable population with multiple mental health and substance use disorder treatment needs. Criminal recidivism and homelessness are also common. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans in particular often have complex health needs and will potentially be long-term Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients. There is an urgent need to develop interventions that improve their entry to and engagement in mental health/substance use disorder treatment, so as to address their treatment needs and break the cycle of homelessness and recidivism.

This research aims to improve utilization of VHA care by: (1) Identifying predictors of entry to and engagement in VHA mental health/substance use disorder care among Iraq/Afghanistan justice-involved Veterans with a need for such care, (2) Evaluate Iraq/Afghanistan justice-involved Veterans' experiences connecting to VHA mental health/substance use disorder care, and (3) Develop and pilot-test an intervention to increase entry to/engagement in VHA mental health/substance use disorder care among Iraq/Afghanistan justice-involved Veterans.

This grant is based on Andersen's Behavioral Model and Life Course Theory. Objective 1 uses VHA administrative and survey data to identify delivery system and patient-level predictors of treatment use. Objective 2 uses qualitative interviews to evaluate Iraq/Afghanistan justice-involved Veterans' experiences connecting to VHA care. Objective 3 will be to develop and conduct a formative evaluation, and pilot-test an intervention to support Iraq/Afghanistan justice-involved Veterans in improving their entry to/engagement in VHA care.

Not yet available.

Promising avenues to accessing pharmacotherapy for opioid use disorder, include addressing legal or county restrictions against medications, stigma against justice-involved Veterans, and lack of information among community or criminal justice providers about VA resources to treat opioid use disorder may need to be addressed to improve access to pharmacotherapy. Increased access and use of these medications may improve Veteran health and other outcomes such as reduce criminal recidivism.

External Links for this Project

NIH Reporter

Grant Number: IK2HX001513-01A1

Dimensions for VA

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

Learn more about Dimensions for VA.

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
    Search Dimensions for this project


None at this time.

DRA: Mental, Cognitive and Behavioral Disorders, Substance Use Disorders
DRE: Technology Development and Assessment
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms: none

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.