Sad reading

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Punk_trooper, Jan 6, 2010.

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  1. It says 3% of the prison population, is ex armed forces. Does anyone know what the percentage of the country is ex forces?
  2. Quite a lot of the homeless are also suspected to be ex-squaddies. IMHO I believe that many will probably have PTSD as well.

    PTSD has still not been adequately addressed and from my time as an Ulster veteran very few from that time have received any help whatsoever.
  3. Who qualifies as an ex-soldier? Are the large amount of mongs who go home crying, or are binned during training included in these figures?
  4. udipur

    udipur LE Book Reviewer

    Veterans Aid ( has helped get the homeless servicemen and women down to about 6% of all homeless.

    Don't know who goes into the clink to see the boys and girls but having been in there for the alkies, it isn't much fun and there's a whole heap of new sh*t they have to deal with in there.

    Anyone know who can help them inside?
  5. EXACTLY the statistic needed right now. Taking prison population percentages out of context does nobody any favours.
  6. Conversely it can be argued that 97% of the prison population have never had the benefit of time in the forces to learn self-discipline and respect. That's what I like about statistics, you can interpret them however you want.
  7. The Government DONT want to know the figures, as it would just proove that their much vaunted ex servicemens mental heaalth policy was nothing more than a load of B*****, just give the poor barstwards a lifetime supply of Paroxotin and tell them to get lost
  8. Is that what they gave you?
  9. I thought this was going to be a thread about "Watership Down" :(
  10. The article mentions that there are 1 million ex-servicemen on the database, so on the basis of a population of 70 million, I make that about 1.4% of the population are ex-services so prison population is higher.

    Hardly a scientific study of the statistics but a starter.
  11. The Veterans Day literature in 2007 said 10,000,000 people had served.

    so following your argument, 1/5th the prison population could statistically be "veterans"

    Prison population in UK is about 84,000 if ex services are 2500.....

    Having said that, average age of prisoners (27 years), is a lot lower than anyone who would have done national service, or served in WW2, or Korea and I would imagine that would be the bulk of the ten million "veterans".

    What would be more useful would be to see figures for "veterans" in prison who had seen service from about 1970, as that would include most of NI, the Falklands and on, but put a lowest age of about 55yrs on prisoners?

    The other issue is that , in looking at veterans in prison, is that a lot of them will be there through no cause of particular stress in he services; Dennis Nielson being a classic veteran of 11 years service, but with crimes that hardly came out of any service connection.

    I also suspect that a high proportion of the 2500 ex services prisoners may well be people who didn't make it in the services either, or indeed people who offended whilst in the services and were binned?

    No thread on ARRSE would be complete without a mention of Mr Shortt, who is most certainly not convicted of any crime, but whose short (no pun intended!), service with the Army exemplifies how he and people of equal service length would be classified as "veteran", should they ever be unfortunate enough to be incarcerated.

    I am certainly agreeing post-service stress is an issue for some, and that support should be available, but wondering if the scale of the problem is as large as some press reports indicate?
  12. I met a lad on remembrance day who had been jailed for 6 months for assualt, he was set upon by three lads just after a TELIC tour and ended up giving them a hiding that went beyond self defence - very sad story.

    There but for the grace of God - there were a few times after TELIC that I could have gone the same way.
  13. I did some drugs policy work earlier in my career. I was told that many of the prisoners who were ex services had gone straight from care homes into the military. Whatever their (often brief) military service had given them, it hadn't addressed the underlying problem, which was institutionalisation from an early age.
    They frequently had other psychological issues from abuse or abandonment. When they left or were ejected from the military, they tend to self medicate on booze and drugs, and then find themselves back in another institution-The prison system.
    There were also some long term soldiers who had usually developed a drink habit in service, and who could not adapt to civvy street. Oddly enough, they often coped quite well on the street, because they were often experienced in living rough. Their main problem, after a few years living in the open, is acute claustrophobia, which means that they are actually uncomfortable living indoors even if accomodation is available.
    This really touches on a much larger problem, called 'dual diagnosis'. Most health care will address either mental illness OR drug abuse. What is not recognised is the incredibly high numbers of people, especially in the prison system, who have both at the same time.(I heard of one bloke with 9 identified mental health problems and a drug habit AT THE SAME TIME.) It is possible to get someone off drugs, but without addressing the mental health problem that drove him to them he will relapse. It is possible to give someone psychiatric help, but that is of little use if he is full of speed and heroin.
    There are very few facilities that are able to treat both mental illness and drugs at the same time, the medical skills to do it are scarce, and statistically it is easier to claim a 'success' in treating a heroin addict by getting him on methadone than it is to sort his head out so he doesn't actualy need to go back on the dope.
  14. The figure of 2,500 ex-service personnel in prison in England and Wales is a lot less than previous estimates such as in the NAPO survey of a couple of years ago, and those based on Home Office research in 2001, 2003 and 2004.

    As someone said, this has come up before. A healthy cynicism about criminals "trying to work their ticket" is understandable. Some ARRSErs have argued in the past that these "veterans" must be ex National Service, and others have argued that they must be failed trainees. However, the NAPO survey was pretty clear that the statistics include veterans of recent operations.

    I welcome the (presumably) more accurate information, and the fact that the issue is being taken seriously by the MoD, the Ministry of Justice and by organisations such as Combat Stress.

    In a radio interview some months ago about this issue, I mentioned that I had consulted serving prison officers, some of whom were themselves ex-military and not so likely to be fooled by incarcerated "walts" and that I am convinced that Veterans in Prison initiatives are worth pursuing.