Former Forces Prisoners to get More Support

#1
Former members of the armed forces who are sent to prison will be given more support, the Ministry of Justice says.

From January, all new prisoners will be asked if they have been in the forces so ex-service personnel can be given specific rehabilitation programmes.

The move is among measures following a review into how the criminal justice system deals with veterans.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said a "huge debt of gratitude" was owed to those who had served their country.

'Tailored approach'
The government said the measures would identify and support veterans when they enter and leave prison, and give them a better chance of rehabilitation.

Prisons will be given new guidance about helping former servicemen and women while they are serving their sentence.

The review by Conservative MP Stephen Phillips QC was published as part of the government's Armed Forces Covenant, which sets out the relationship between the UK and its military.

Mr Grayling said: "Most ex-service personnel have successful civilian lives and do not enter the criminal justice system - but I am determined to help the minority who have committed an offence turn their lives around.

"Society owes a huge debt of gratitude to those who have served their country, which is why our commitment to support them and their families is enshrined in the Armed Forces Covenant.

"We will identify veterans at the earliest opportunity, so that we can take a more tailored approach to help them turn away from crime. This support will extend to offenders' families, who also feel the sacrifices made by our service men and women."

Question not asked
Mr Phillips' report found that veterans were less likely to enter the criminal justice system than other people, but more detail was needed on how many were going to prison.

"We were reassured to find that if you have served in the armed forces, you are actually less likely to find yourself on the wrong side of the law," he said.

"But we cannot lose sight of the needs of the minority of veterans who do end up in the criminal justice system.

"That's why it is vital for them, their families, and our communities that more is done to look at who they are and how we can best support them."

He said the system was failing to identify far too many veterans because either the question was not asked or they were reluctant to give such information.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan welcomed the report's recommendations.

He said: "We have been campaigning on this important issue for some time now and it is about time the government did more than pay lip service to the needs of veterans.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to former members of our armed services. Most go on to have constructive lives after leaving the armed services but some can drift into a life of crime and we need to do more to prevent this."

Prof Neil Greenberg, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the report was a "most welcome document" and it seemed likely the risk of veterans reoffending "will be much reduced".

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30558280
 
#2
This is all very well, but what about someone like myself, a STAB, who has never been further east than Lowestoft? If I end up in prison for some reason they'll ask me if I ever served and the answer will be yes. Never mind the fact that I haven't done a tour, never dodged a bullet, seen someone injured or killed, I will be on their list of of "must help". Also, many people who genuinely need help don't end up in prison but end up living on the streets with mental health issues which is far more of a concern.

This announcement is all very well, but my fear is that this will lead some people to use their past service as an excuse for their criminal activities. This means taking money away from those who really need it, which is what angers more than anything else.
 
#3
Does that include the utter scum that get banged up into civvy nick whilst still in service? I mean people like wife beating alky scum and nonces (for the OP)
 
#4
This 'veterans' worship is getting a little tedious, and hasn't been helped by charities attaching a 'hero' status to anybody who has ever worn a uniform, no matter for how short a period.

The bottom line is that unless there are severe medical issues present, directly attributable to military service, and which may have contributed towards the offence, then these people are no more deserving than anybody else.

Most of those ex-military (detest the term veteran) currently in prison should never have been recruited in the first place. Almost inevitable that they were admin, welfare or discipline nightmares from the day they enlisted until the day they were (almost inevitably) discharged on admin or discipline grounds.
 
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#5
There were are couple of blokes I remember from training utter scum quickly kicked out after failing a cdt early on in the course, it will be those twats who end up getting support when they were destined for a life behind bars anyway
 
#6
This 'veterans' worship is getting a little tedious, and hasn't been helped by charities attaching a 'hero' status to anybody who has ever worn a uniform, no matter for how short a period.

The bottom line is that unless there are severe medical issues present, directly attributable to military service, and which may have contributed towards the offence, then these people are no more deserving than anybody else.

Most of those ex-military (detest the term veteran) currently in prison should never have been recruited in the first place. Almost inevitable that they were admin, welfare or discipline nightmares from the day they enlisted until the day they were (almost inevitably) discharged on admin or discipline grounds.
It isn't 'hero worship' it is merely trend analysis and tailoring a solution.

I'd imagine there are other groups within the prison community similarly screened for bespoke support.
 
#7
Does that include the utter scum that get banged up into civvy nick whilst still in service? I mean people like wife beating alky scum and nonces (for the OP)
Don't blame me - I don't work for the MoJ or the Beeb.
 
M

MotorBoat

Guest
#8
This is all very well, but what about someone like myself, a STAB, who has never been further east than Lowestoft? If I end up in prison for some reason they'll ask me if I ever served and the answer will be yes. Never mind the fact that I haven't done a tour, never dodged a bullet, seen someone injured or killed, I will be on their list of of "must help". Also, many people who genuinely need help don't end up in prison but end up living on the streets with mental health issues which is far more of a concern.

This announcement is all very well, but my fear is that this will lead some people to use their past service as an excuse for their criminal activities. This means taking money away from those who really need it, which is what angers more than anything else.
my bold

So this announcement is a bad thing? Who cares if 1 or 2 piss takers use the system as long as those who need help in the system get it. Quite franky your outrage is irrelevant.
 
#9
Don't blame me - I don't work for the MoJ or the Beeb.
I don't blame you don't worry. I blame the 2 week wonders who left in training 15 years ago and now mooch around the place with their veterans badge spouting no end of lies because they've seen a couple of episodes of Ross Kemp. Them and the system Man!
 
#10
my bold

So this announcement is a bad thing? as long as those who need help in the system get it. .
Won't be many of those that actually 'need' it. There will be the usual dross that see it as an entitlement, blaming all their ills on the system rather than their own pathetic, rather inadequate selves.
 
#12
This announcement is all very well, but my fear is that this will lead some people to use their past service as an excuse for their criminal activities...
They will use their past service as an excuse to whom exactly? They're in prison, they've already been sentenced.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#14
I must be naive - I'd assumed that 'specific rehabilitation programmes' were applied to everyone in prison as part of the process.

Sounds like populist posturing to me.
 
#16
I dislike phrases like the "debt of gratitude" towards "veterans", and the constant portrayal of armed forces personnel as "heroes" or "victims".

The only real public-policy question here is whether well-designed rehabilitation programmes which challenge the prisoner's behaviour, and possibly appeal to his or her sense of pride and comradeship, can produce better outcomes for society, in particular by reducing reoffending.

The indications are that they can.
 
#17
I must be naive - I'd assumed that 'specific rehabilitation programmes' were applied to everyone in prison as part of the process.

Sounds like populist posturing to me.
Posturing? Politicians? How could you say such a thing?
 
#18
Also surely there is a danger of creating a terrible stereotype in the eyes of the media/public - ex Service = PTSD = Violent?
 
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