Justice-involved veterans can be healed, and veterans can help to heal the justice-involved. That’s the animating principle of Veterans Advocacy Alliance.

There are nearly 107,000 incarcerated veterans in the United States. They are a particularly vulnerable population, with unique and pressing needs around job training, education, substance abuse, and PTSD

When engaged as advocates for reform, veterans can also speak with unparalleled credibility on issues such as the effects of trauma, how trauma is a root cause of crime, and how to foster rehabilitation among the trauma-impacted persons. 

Putting those two pieces together is the goal and vision of Veterans Advocacy Alliance.

VAA advocates for identifying best practices and scaling up new approaches to diverting justice-involved veterans, providing rehabilitative programming to address their unique characteristics and needs, and connecting them to critical legal and other resources.

But more importantly, VAA is an organizer and conduit for veterans’ advocacy for a less punitive, more rehabilitation-focused criminal justice system as a whole. Through its “cadres,” VAA harnesses the public-spiritedness and energy of veterans, using them as the tip of the spear of the idea that treating the trauma that underlies much crime should be a priority of the justice system, regardless of whether that trauma results from the battlefield, addiction, broken families, or a life on the streets.


Jessica Rizer

Founder and CEO

Corey Quill

Board Member

Marcus Bullock

Board Member

Arthur Rizer

Founder and former Board President

David Safavian

Former Board Member



VAA works to enact changes to the criminal justice system to make it less punitive, more adept at encouraging rehabilitation and reducing recidivism, and focused on the role of trauma as a root cause of crime.