Ex service members in prison

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by old_n_fat, Sep 24, 2009.

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  1. Select Committee on Defence

    Combat Stress carried a web page on "Vet(eran)s in Prison" but the site isn't currently available I think. Prisons were reportedly supporting treatment inside HMP's for PTSD sufferers and other issues, among locked up veterans.

    Readjusting to civvy street AND life "on licence" or after sentence, is difficult and often requires support.

    A good page is Veterans Protest (2008) . Best I can do, without giving away actual cases.
  2. When I recently had the British Legion come out to speak to me the guy talked about visiting ex servicemen in prison and also said there's a hell of alot of them in prison.
  3. I think the figures may be slightly skewed when you subtract those that have been sentenced to imprisonment and discharge by a Courts Martial. I would prefer to see the figures for those that have been imprisoned/subjected to parole post discharge.

    More of a concern would be the amount of homeless ex-servicemen that are currently in the UK and what is being done to bring them into the umbrella of the social services. There is an identifiable co-relation between ex offenders and homeless persons, councils are often uniwilling to provide social housing to those released from prison due to scarcity and if that is coupled with having no connection to the area you are released into makes it very difficult.

    When on a downward spiral in your life it can be very difficult to stop the cycle sometimes
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Punitive measures are usual, as Police and the CJS might not be sympathetic. It's a case by case job, rather than a national awareness, or policy, on veterans' problems.

    TRBL and some local authorities are developing halfway houses and Drop-in Centres, when the right people are on-side. It takes a lot of hard work apparently, and funding is the main problem.

    Recent cases have seen regional co-operation, amongst TRBL caseworkers, to get veterans back home, to their home area, and offered a bed and support. In one case, a local connection wasn't needed. Not easy to settle a chaotic vet who's had a crap time of it, separated from family and damaged by service.

    Good old TRBL, often working face to face, unpaid, on difficult casework .
  5. The RBL and SSAFA do courses for caseworkers to visit ex servicemen in prison.
  6. Hi,

    I am really interested in this subject matter and found the recent figures resulting from the NAPO report quite alarming. I am a freelance writer and am looking to write a feature article on this subject. I would be interested in understanding the difficulties that Service personnel face returning from active service and the areas of support that are currently missing. Obviously there are voluntary organisations such as Combat Stress that provide support to veterans, but from what I can see, it seems there imay be a gap in the support provided by the MOD and the NHS for those returning from active service.

    I am interested in contacting current and former Service personnel who have personal experience in this area - possibly those that have been to prison or know those who have and would be happy to share their story with me.

    If you would like to get in touch about this, please PM me.

    Many thanks.
  7. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Oh god save us from freelances writers looking to write a feature article on this subject.
  8. Assuming God's too busy to concern himself with lowly freelance writers - is there anything you want to share on the subject?
  9. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    It's extremely upsetting that so many ex-forces bods are winding up in prison, when in most cases, their behaviour is down to the side-effects of the jobs they have done, this being everything from maladjustment back to civvy street after years in the forces, through every stages of PTSD from mild to serious and suicidal.

    It's been said a million times, but one more won't hurt - if the guys and girls get the proper support (which I understand has greatly improved) from the outset, there would be far less ex-forces people winding up incarcerated.

    This is also a matter for the courts and CPs to deal with properly. If they are happy enough to release chavvy scrotes and scumbags back onto the streets without so much as showing them the inside of a nick (because they are victims when they rob, steal, lie and deal drugs), then they need to give serious consideration to all the alternatives when dealing with ex-forces people, and keep in fore-front of their consciousness the fact that the guys standing before them are also victims, hence their behaviour. Much, much, much more worthy victims than the scum they release every week.
  10. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    So, in your opinion, what specific support do you think would make a difference to ex forces personnel to prevent the high number ending up in prison? Where does the responsibility lie for providing this support?

    And do you think that the courts etc are more lenient towards Joe public than veterans in general?
  11. Why do you assume that ex forces bods serving time in British prisons are by default suffering from PTSD?

    And also, why do you assume that ex forces offenders are treated more severely than the never-serveds?
  12. MB has a point. Though PTSD crops up, it's not always the only factor, so thinking outside the box, avoiding the obvious, and treating vet's in jail as individuals is a good start. Is is fair to say that vet's are treated more harshly? who knows.

    Debates about PTSD make me smile, PTSD is often mentioned, but rarely understood. It's become just a general label, just as unhelpful as it is unfair.

    Caseworkers see several veterans a week, some homeless and homeless because they couldn't sustain tenacy or stability after the mob. If we're honest; the Forces turn out dependent conformists and sometimes de-skill them along the way, making them reliant on orders, and on the military system. Maybe even so conditioned and so apart from mainstream society, that some don't integrate.Take the military machine away and often, not always, the wheels come off for the more vulnerable and chaotic veterans.

    Preparation for civvy life and tenancies, integration, and the right care for affected vet's would be a good start. But funding, attitudes and services probably won't be helpful, any time soon.

    Veterans' hostels contain ex-offenders, fact. The reasons are manifold and complicated, much the same, perhaps, for vet's in Prisons.
  13. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Yes. SSAFA & TRBL have a Prison In Reach scheme. as JD said previously.

    Have a read:
    Prison In Reach

    Supporting Prisoner's Families
  14. Thanks for this - yes I'd looked into the PIR service provided by the MOD/SPVA in conjunction with ex Service organisations - which is obviously support provided to those that have offended. But I am wondering what there is in way of support provided to prevent offending in the first place?