A Cry For Help

I've been following Arrse for quite a while and, up until now, I've been content just to lurk. However, I'm currently going through a major crisis so have registered to post this and I'm hoping somebody will respond with some suggestions.

I served in the Army for a total of nearly eight years and deployed on four op tours. I left in 2006 and since then I have lived a quiet life on civvie strasse. However, I was recently arrested, am due to be sentenced later this month and am likely to be going to prison for a few months. As a result, I have had to resign from my job and - for obvious reasons - will shortly be giving up my rented home. My offence was indirectly related to my service in that, on my return from my last tour, I found myself isolated and unable to relate to the rest of the world in anything like a normal way.

The offence I am guilty of carries a bit of stigma and, whilst I am not overly concerned about being imprisoned (they're hardly going to beast me, after all), I am worried about what life will be like when I get out. I have never been unemployed before but it seems that the chances of finding a job through the usual channels will be virtually zero.

So really I am asking if anyone has any suggestions about who to approach, either now, whilst inside or on my release. I would rather clean toilets or wash-up in a kitchen than fester on the dole. I've given up on ever having a picture-perfect life but I am least want to support myself rather than leeching off society forever more.

I don't expect understanding or sympathy for anything that I have done. I will take in on the chin like we always did when we were tapping the boards as squaddies. If I have to spend the rest of my life as a social pariah then so be in but I just want to stand on my own two feet.

Please help.
Regimental Associations, the Legion and SSAFA etc when you get out. Friendly forces networking and a fresh start is what you'll need. Good luck big fella.


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Depending on your offence, employment opportunities may well be limited.
Try to give some detail. There are some on here who could give you some good advice.

However, in the meantime, many of us have got things wrong and failed in relationships, in life, in morality I would suggest. Try to be a little bit more open (prepare to be savaged) and I think some will PM you with good advice.

Djelli Beybii

As Kromeriz has said, although, you may very well not be imprisoned, a lot of sentences these days are for Community Service , and a lot will depend upon the circumstances of the offence and any previous convictions.

That said, it will depend on the seriousness of the offence.
As an ex squaddie/prisoner you will probably be near the top of the list for training. Go for a trade course like plumbing, sparky, chippy, plasterer etc.

Upon release you can work for yourself and a site manager will not be interested in your past, only that you can do the job he needs you to do.

I work for one company that requires a CRB check, but the others don't ask for anything.
Why did you have to give up your job? Having stable employment and a home are some of the good reasons why a bench or Judge would consider a community disposal or suspended sentence.

Unless you got caught noncing as a school caretaker.....
Oh, and all new prisoners get screened for previous service also. There are usually a couple of screws dedicated to looking after the welfare of former (and in some cases current) service personnel.

Djelli Beybii

If it is offences under the Sex offences legislation, dependant upon what it is, you may still get a Community service order and be placed on the register for a few years.
Hopefully it doesn't get to the point of you doing time, but if it does:

Over the last few years I have worked with an ex-con who has turned out to be one of the best guys I have ever met. He admitted he screwed up and fortunately learned his lesson inside. His secret to success was keeping his nose clean and getting along with everybody, screws and inmates, nonces maybe not. He said he had a few scraps but nothing serious & nothing that affected his parole.

Back outside he made a point of getting along with his parole supervisor and listening to the advice given, you could do no worse than that. It appears to me that you have taken the 1st step in seeking help and just reading some of the advice above should help you realise that there are good people willing to help you get back on track.

Best of luck.
What is the 'stigma'?

If it's a sex offence, then you can go on the numbers. Job jobbed.

If it's domestic violence then don't worry about it. Everyone in there is either in for being a pisshead/junkie or for a domestic.


Assuming this isnt a wind up the only crime that really "carries a bit of stigma" with squaddies are nonce crimes.
Many crimes carry 'a bit of stigma' on the civvy street, which will be his main concern.

FWIW, I'm not sure we need to know the nature of the offence; those who know about rehabilitation can PM him to give advice and if it's relevant, it can be discussed in private.
I have been in the army for a relatively long period of time and I have never heard the terms 'civvie Strasse' or 'tapping the boards' used in a real sentence by anyone who would be under the age of 60 nowdays.

Just saying like ^~
I have been in the army for a relatively long period of time and I have never heard the terms 'civvie Strasse' or 'tapping the boards' used in a real sentence by anyone who would be under the age of 60 nowdays.

Just saying like ^~

Now you come to mention it someone did say "tapping the boards" on here the other day. (when the internetshire police were going to sort me and Spaz out)
Thanks for all the replies. I will definitely give SSAFA In-Reach a call.

Re: 'civvie strasse' and 'tapping the boards'. I joined in 1995 so hardly particularly long-in-the-tooth!

As for my offence, I am deeply ashamed of it and, as I said, am not expecting sympathy or understanding. Suffice to say that I will be on a VP wing and, without going into too much detail, will be going away for things that you could buy openly on the Reeperbahn in the 90s. Circumstance and idiocy rather than anything more sinister.

I fully expect (and deserve) to be ripped-into now so I'll say cheers for the links and advice. Thanks.
You will have an easy time inside, you'll find half the screws are ex forces, if your crime was not evil , your post is worrying on that score, in which case avoid hot kettles.

Do your porridge, don't gob off and it will be a holiday, there are plenty of good jobs that don't require records checks.

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