Thousands of war veterans locked in British prisons

#1
Thousands of war veterans locked in British prisons

One in 11 prisoners serving time in UK jails is a former member of the armed forces, a new report reveals.

By Ben Leach
Last Updated: 12:04AM BST 31 Aug 2008

War veterans make up around nine per cent of the prison population Photo: GETTY IMAGES
More than 8,000 veterans are currently behind bars, many of whom have served their country in Iraq or Afghanistan, researchers found.

A high proportion of the convicts interviewed in the study had suffered some form of post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving the forces. Often their convictions were for drug- or alcohol-related violence.

Ex-services charities said the findings highlighted the difficulty which many former soldiers face in making the transition to civilian life.

The National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO), which carried out the research, called on the Government to do more to tackle mental health problems suffered by people who have fought in war zones.
More on the link
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...f-war-veterans-locked-in-British-prisons.html
 
#4
Evidence perhaps that the Army's "decompression" and soldiers/ex-soldiers access to community psychiatric services just ain't working.

The governments recent Service Command paper claims among other things that already "fifteen departments of community mental health, with satellite centres overseas...have improved access to mental health care. Veterans with operational service since 1982 have access to expert mental health assessments through the MOD's medical assessment programme at St Thomas' Hospital in London" (comment: seems a bit far to go if you live outside the smoke). This is partially addressed by the intention to roll at additional CP services at "6 locations across the country", but this could take another 2 or 3 years. Someone needs to get their finger out, especially as evidence suggests a rise in the ex-services element of the prison population normally occurs after a major conflict. Then again, when has the government ever applied lessons from history?
 
#5
One in 11 prisoners ex-forces?

What is the total percentage of ex-forces in the UK population today?
 
#6
It's just been highlighted on BBC's 'The Sunday Show' & they mentioned the is a event being held in September in London.Sorry,I missed the details of what it is.
Spike
 
#7
Tartan_Terrier said:
One in 11 prisoners ex-forces?

What is the total percentage of ex-forces in the UK population today?
In our local boozer about 8 out of 10.
 
#8
I have a bit of a concern with the 'Community Shrink' bit;
patient 1: "I saw Elvis yesterday in my local"
Doctor: "that's nice Mr Brown, are you still taking those pills we prescribed?""NEXT!!"
patient 2:"I have nightmares and I think my husband is having a fling with my sister"
Doctor:"I'm sorry to here that Mrs Smith, here's some pills to make the nightmares go away,NEXT"
patient 3:"I keep reliving an ambush in Afghan where my best freind was killed and am very confused and angry"
Doctor:"Sounds like you need 'Anger Management', here's a Foam Bat and a small teddy-bear. Use it twice a day and we'll see you in 3 months,NEXT!"
 
#9
This was in the Observer yesterday

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/aug/31/military.prisonsandprobation

There was also a pretty graphic piece about the experience of Jimmy Johnson in NI who murdered two people after leaving the army both times he claims were due to flashbacks. He battered a guy to death with a pole, had no sense of doing it at the time but remembers a time he was fighting with a rioter hitting him with a baton gun.

Obviously theres lots of guys who come out of the army with no PTSD (even if they've had traumatic experiences) so I wonder how much of any effect is down to the individual in the first place.

But if the report is right there will be lots more ex forces personnel ending up in prison for violent crime.

Should we adopt the US approach to 'decompression' treatment after a tour?
 
#10
slab said:
Evidence perhaps that the Army's "decompression" and soldiers/ex-soldiers access to community psychiatric services just ain't working.

The governments recent Service Command paper claims among other things that already "fifteen departments of community mental health, with satellite centres overseas...have improved access to mental health care. Veterans with operational service since 1982 have access to expert mental health assessments through the MOD's medical assessment programme at St Thomas' Hospital in London" (comment: seems a bit far to go if you live outside the smoke). This is partially addressed by the intention to roll at additional CP services at "6 locations across the country", but this could take another 2 or 3 years. Someone needs to get their finger out, especially as evidence suggests a rise in the ex-services element of the prison population normally occurs after a major conflict. Then again, when has the government ever applied lessons from history?
The systems as they stand do an effective job for those who are still in the forces, that's not where the problems lie. The main problems come when somebody starts to struggle after they left. The MOD never really told GPs about the scheme (though our local ones know, I've made sure of it), and NHS provision for ANYONE with PTSD (it's exactly the same condition as for many people who've been abused as children, raped, involved in RTA etc) is poor. However there are now many CBT training schemes underway now as it has been realised that this is an effective way of treating the symptoms quickly and it does work.

Another word of slight caution; there's a big difference between having a diagnosis of PTSD from a psychiatrist and CLAIMING to have PTSD, as it can be a handy excuse for what people choose to do in their lives. That isn't to say that anyone who says they have PTSD as that would be stupid, but I've worked with a number of ex forces people in a civvy psych setting who claim to have PTSD and actually have nothing of the sort on examination.
 
#11
This smacks of sensationalism all round. As someone has already pointed out, just what is the percentage of ex-service personel in the UK population as a whole anyway? The article in the Guardian seems to mix the terms "ex-Army"and "ex-forces" indiscriminately although the presence of former navy and air force people could only distort the conclusion they seem so intent on reaching. Another consideration is the ages of those in the selected group, you could have anything from a 17yr old young offender banged up for violence, who once spent six-weeks at ITC being booted out as unsuitable, to an incorrigible old lag of 70 who did his national service in the Navy during the 50's. What conclusion caould you possibly draw from these ?. This is a good example of a sloppily reported, context-free piece of journalistic tripe which throws no light on the subject and serves only to denigrate the Armed Forces and insult their members.
 
#12
Jammy66 said:
This was in the Observer yesterday

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/aug/31/military.prisonsandprobation

There was also a pretty graphic piece about the experience of Jimmy Johnson in NI who murdered two people after leaving the army both times he claims were due to flashbacks. He battered a guy to death with a pole, had no sense of doing it at the time but remembers a time he was fighting with a rioter hitting him with a baton gun.
...
Jimmy Johnson, currently in HMP Frankland, is one of the founders of the Veterans in Prison website: LINK.
 
#13
Jaeger said:
This smacks of sensationalism all round. As someone has already pointed out, just what is the percentage of ex-service personel in the UK population as a whole anyway? The article in the Guardian seems to mix the terms "ex-Army"and "ex-forces" indiscriminately although the presence of former navy and air force people could only distort the conclusion they seem so intent on reaching. Another consideration is the ages of those in the selected group, you could have anything from a 17yr old young offender banged up for violence, who once spent six-weeks at ITC being booted out as unsuitable, to an incorrigible old lag of 70 who did his national service in the Navy during the 50's. What conclusion caould you possibly draw from these ?. This is a good example of a sloppily reported, context-free piece of journalistic tripe which throws no light on the subject and serves only to denigrate the Armed Forces and insult their members.
Some points there, but the preliminary research which the recent press reports were based on is far from being sensationalist. National Association of Probation Officers briefing:Ex-Armed Forces Personnel and the Criminal Justice System - LINK.

NB the link is to a briefing note rather than the full report, but the anecdotal case studies listed there are almost all Army, a fact which was reflected in the media coverage. It is not suggested that PTSD is the only common factor involved.

National Association of Probation Officers said:
A scoping survey is currently being conducted by the Prison In-Reach Project (PIR), which is sponsored by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It is likely to conclude that there is a major problem.*1 The PIR project, which is a partnership organisation between the MOD, the Ministry of Justice and ex-services charities, conducted a pilot study in HMP Dartmoor, and concluded that 16.75% of those surveyed had undertaken military service.

The organisation Veterans in Prisons has also carried out a survey into the number of former armed services personnel in the prison population in a total of 10 prisons. (See table 1). It found 118 former Royal Navy, RAF or army personnel out of a population of 1,191. On the basis of that survey, 9.1% of the prison population would be ex-armed services personnel, or 7,350 at any one time in England and Wales
 
#14
Jesus

I've just googled ex soldier and life sentence and it has come up with a load of instances of trauma being a factor in a soldiers crime.

Something HAS to be done about this.
 
#15
There is/was a book about this, obviously more about Northern Ireland than Now, but quite good, though some things were wrong, as i personally know, but some stories made you think. Damned if i can remember the title, will do some thinking, remember the publisher being something barbed wire, and Jimmy Johnson was involved with it.
 
#16
The financial gangsters we fight for want our brawn in exchange for money. There's no moral fiber to these people. They work only on quantities of the world's food and energy they own and volumes of cash in bank accounts. They then employ PR people to sell their battles to the public.

It's enough to do your head in.

As for what to do.
Nationalise and redistribute land and money, then reintroduce prayers in infant school.
That'd be a good start.



thanks for the link btw so here it is again

hackle said:
Jimmy Johnson, currently in HMP Frankland, is one of the founders of the Veterans in Prison website: LINK.
 
#17
One would think that the high ratio of post-service homelessness revealed some years ago would have been enough to motivate better resettlement and adjustment support, but to now find this?

Quite simply unacceptable.
 
#18
Invictus_88 said:
One would think that the high ratio of post-service homelessness revealed some years ago would have been enough to motivate better resettlement and adjustment support, but to now find this?

Quite simply unacceptable.
And of course these types of scandals will continue to occur. It surprises me that service personnel continue to be outraged over such outrages. Until service personnel realise that by banding together in a federation and contributing towards the paying of full time staff, who are independent of the MOD, to investigate and prod our politicians these and many other issues will continue to happen.

We must ask ourselves why pretty well every other professional body thinks it necessary to be independently represented and why they do better,on the whole, than service personnel. If the chain of command works so well dealing with welfare issues why are there so many? BAFF will only become more effective when greater numbers decide to join which in turn will give it the resources to look after the interests of service personnel. The partial answer seems to be in the hands of serving personnel and the veterans.
 
#19
Skynet said:
Invictus_88 said:
One would think that the high ratio of post-service homelessness revealed some years ago would have been enough to motivate better resettlement and adjustment support, but to now find this?

Quite simply unacceptable.
And of course these types of scandals will continue to occur. It surprises me that service personnel continue to be outraged over such outrages. Until service personnel realise that by banding together in a federation and contributing towards the paying of full time staff, who are independent of the MOD, to investigate and prod our politicians these and many other issues will continue to happen.

We must ask ourselves why pretty well every other professional body thinks it necessary to be independently represented and why they do better,on the whole, than service personnel. If the chain of command works so well dealing with welfare issues why are there so many? BAFF will only become more effective when greater numbers decide to join which in turn will give it the resources to look after the interests of service personnel. The partial answer seems to be in the hands of serving personnel and the veterans.
Well said, Skynet. Interestingly, one of the recommendations in the NAPO briefing note is (echoing the Commons Defence Committee) that consideration be given to a services representative body:

National Association of Probation Officers said:
F] RECOMMENDATIONS

• All reasonable steps should be taken to reduce the number of men sentenced to custody or community penalties who had previously been in the armed forces and experienced trauma and stress. There are currently probably over 7,000 ex-armed forces in prison and an unknown number on community penalties.

• Information and referral services should be provided to ex-armed services personnel on arrest, at report writing stage and on reception into custody. It should be based on the pack given to service personnel on reception to HMP Everthorpe.

• Armed services personnel should receive information and education on the benefits of stress counselling in general and be given support where it is appropriate.

• Napo fully supports the work of the Prison In-Reach Project, sponsored by the MOD, and urges that its activities be prioritised by government.

• The government should provide stress counselling on site and on return from active service for all armed services personnel

• IDAP and other probation programmes should be made widely available to the forces, if they are proved to be effective.

• Consideration should be given to the creation of an Armed Forces Inspectorate with powers to carry out thematic reports into issues of public concern.

• Consideration should be given to creating a Services Representation Body, similar in function to that which exists for the ranks in the Police.
 
#20
Hello, apologies for gate-crashing the forum,
I'm looking to speak to ex-services personnel from Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland (Or who have served time here) who have first hand experience of serving time in prison post armed forces, preferably or possibly (but not exclusively) as a result of trauma experienced either at work or elsewhere.

I have tried Leicester prison directly, having been allowed to interview other inmates, but have been refused by the Ministry of Justice. The RBL says it would be difficult to get someone and then cited Data Protection, even though I requested that an approach would be made through the RBL, not as a result of it. The mixed forces recruitement office in Leicester, usually a good place, referred me straight to the MOD.

I genuinely give a toss about this. For the past year I've watched a man with an army kit bag walk clockwise around the square opposite my flat 60 times a night. I've not seen him for the past three months.

If you can help, please contact catherineturnell@leicestermercury.co.uk

And, if you're think it would be funny to p*ss around, please don't. This job carries its own weight.
 

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