Federal Grant For NM Vets

New Mexico – New Mexico's veterans will benefit from a $1.9 million federal grant to help those with mental illness or substance abuse problems stay out of jail.

Gov. Bill Richardson says the five-year grant will help New Mexico focus on treatment and increased access to services for veterans, particularly Native Americans and rural residents.

The money will be used to divert people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other trauma-related illnesses from the criminal justice system in Sandoval County.

It will also build capacity to provide behavioral health services to veterans in danger of entering the justice system.

The program is expected to help 200 people over five years.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.