Assisting Veterans and their Families

Assisting Veterans, Their Families, and Attorneys with Veteran Clients/Defendants

We provide Continued Legal Education (CLE) training modules for Civil and Defense Attorney Organizations:

  • Understanding the Veteran ñ the processes and lasting impressions of the Military Total Institution
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the lasting effects of war and conflict
  • Pre-plea negotiations and Individualized Sentencing Plan Development
  • Dynamic Risk Management versus Risk Prediction
  • Ethics
  • The experiences and trauma of war can last a lifetime.
  • When addressing issues related veterans, veteran family members and significant others, and legal practitioners who represent veterans and their families, our goal is to achieve the most constructive and positive results in court and legal proceedings.

    Legal Assistance

  • Case History Development
  • Disaggregate and Analyze client’s social history (including military history)

  • Examination of mitigating circumstances
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Dynamic Risk Management Plan Development

  • Expert Testimony: Military Total Institution/Military Culture, Domestic Violence and other areas relevant to veterans and family members
  • The Problem

    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury: Veterans returning from the current Afghanistan and Iraq wars are more likely to experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than veterans from previous wars. PTSD is distinct from most mental health diagnoses ñ it is related to specific life experiences. For veterans, those experiences are generally linked to combat and/or war experiences. Veterans who have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBI) will likely demonstrate similar symptoms (65% of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans treated at Walter Reed Hospital were diagnosed with TBI). It was ecently estimated that there are at least 300,000 psychiatric casualties from service in Iraq with a projected lifetime cost of treatment of more than $600 billion.

    Military Total Institution:

    When civilians are inducted into the military it is imperative that their thought processes be converted to facilitate the needs of the military. Acceptable civilian principles are not necessarily beneficial to the military. Conversely, a good soldier’s principles, created in the military total institution, are not necessarily acceptable or advantageous in mainstream society. Killing another human being is generally considered an illegal and unnatural act in the civilian environment. In the military, killing is viewed differently ñ killing becomes a more natural act that enhances the likelihood of survival and increases the probability that the military will succeed in its mission.

    Early Indicators of Introduction into the Civil and Criminal Courts

    There are early indicators that suggest civil and criminal defense attorneys will be confronted with a large influx of veteran clients/defendants.

    • Significant increases in alcohol and drug consumption among soldiers returning from war
    • Record-breaking levels of suicide, and attempted suicide among young returning veterans
    • Substantial increases of anger and spousal aggression demonstrated by recent soldiers and veterans
    • Large increase in divorce rates among soldiers and veterans (Nearly 80% increase among officers)
    • Domestic violence has increased substantially since the start of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars
    • Child abuse involving military families has increased over 30% since 2001
    • Increases in child maltreatment among families of enlisted military personnel
    • Significant increases in homeless Afghanistan and Iraq veterans are being recognized
    • Recent data demonstrate that young veterans (20-24) have a 15% unemployment rate, and that 18% of veterans who searched for employment 1-3 years after discharge remained unemployed
    • This is the first conflict where large numbers of women are serving in combat roles – research shows women are twice as likely as men to get PTSD when confronted with similar situations
    • Significant numbers of female veterans have been traumatized resulting from military sexual assault experiences

    These indicators are only a prologue to the potential influx of veteran clients and defendants – the Afghanistan war remains ongoing

    Pacific Sentencing Specializes in:

  • Pre-trial Release Negotiations

  • Pre-Plea Negotiations

  • Individualized Sentencing Plans

  • Juvenile Dispositions

  • Risk Management Planning

  • Post-Adjudication Issues




  • Contact Us

  • Pacific Sentencing Initiative
    William Brown PhD
    1098 34th Ave NW
    Salem, OR 97034

    503-269-6055
    wbrown@pacificsentencing.com