CTF Veterans Hub gives back to those who served

Captain Antonio speaking at podium
Captain Justin Antonio addresses Veterans Hub’s residents and guests during Memorial Day ceremony.

Correctional Training Facility’s (CTF) Veterans Hub held a Memorial Day ceremony to honor soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

After the remembrance and moment of silence, Taps played in the Reflection area as the American and military branch flags flew at half-mast.

Captain Justin Antonio addressed Veterans Hub’s residents and guests. In attendance included Mayor of Soledad Anna Velasquez and Soledad City Council Member Fernando Cabrera.

“I believe that CDCR’s support of the Veterans Hub and addition of new programming and groups will truly assist these men during their time of incarceration. This will provide the tools necessary to reintegrate back into our communities,” said Captain Antonio.

What is the CTF Veterans Hub?

Two years ago, the institution opened the first Veterans Hub in the nation. Eligible veterans received an array of programming tailored to meet their needs.

Programs offered include:

  • Veterans Life Skill Program
  • Inside Track Running Program
  • Paws & Strips
  • Mentor Program
  • Resource Center
  • and the Veterans Healing Veterans (VHV) from the Inside Out. 

The Veterans Hub consists of military veterans who served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, or other military posts around the world.

Many of these incarcerated veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a treatable anxiety disorder. PTSD develops after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal where physical harm occurred or was threatened.

Veterans Helping Veterans (VHV) serves residents through peer-to-peer PTSD/moral injury processing groups.

The program arms veterans with tools for resiliency. They learn to build an immunity against daily stress to increase impulse control to reduce reactive or violent behavior. 

“Whether related to combat, prison, or growing up in the hood, if you do not face traumas, they will always stay with you and influence your decisions,” said Ron Self, former incarcerated person and Founder/Executive Director of VHV.

Director Gipson visits CTF

On April 18, Director of Adult Institutions Connie Gibson toured CTF, visiting the Veterans Hub and Veterans Resource Center. She also spoke with staff and residents.

“I am so happy to see the Veterans Yard at CTF. The engagement of staff and the population in creating an environment conducive to staff and incarcerated persons’ wellness while promoting rehabilitation is a model to emulate. Awesome job CTF,” said Gipson.

Currently there are 3,027 incarcerated veterans within CDCR while the current population at the CTF Veterans Hub is 156.

Story by Todd Javernick, Public Information Officer
Office of Public and Employee Communications

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