Growing Number of Prisons Offer Special Dorms for Military Vets


"I spent a lot of time away from my children and it made a negative impact on my children," said Roman. "I was also deeply impacted by the recession."

In June 2011, Roman was sent for nine months on drug charges -- his first criminal offense, he said. During his time in jail, he said he could most identify with other veterans, since many could relate to similar issues.

Roman said a veteran dormitory will only help to enhance the camaraderie among veterans and help those returning from combat to overcome the transition to civilian life.

"I think it's a good thing, especially for those with harder disorders to be around veterans," said Roman It's better than being around those who haven't been around the military."

"There's more of an understanding," he said.

Perkins agreed. Immediately, she began to see that the veteran dorm operates more like a military barracks.

"It really helps them to be in a place where they have battle buddies that can help them get through or even relate," she said. "It gives them some ownership of their own problems, take some responsibility of their situation, and accept the help."

Roman, who did not have the choice of being placed in the dormitory, chose not to wait out his sentence without help. Instead, he took advantage of the special veteran programs.

"It helped me overcome what I had been going through for the last few years," he said.

Roman will complete substance abuse treatment at a center in central Alabama on Friday.

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