Thursday, November 26, 2009

Research into Ex-Military Personnel within the CJS

Two major pieces of research into the number of ex-military personnel within the UK's criminal justice system (CJS) are now underway. One is being undertaken by the Howard League for Penal Reform, led by Lord Boyce, the second by Birmingham City University, led by Professor Julian Killingley.

Approximately 20,000 ex-military personnel are believed to be involved within the UK's Justice system - 8,400 in prison (10% of the prison population) and 12,000 on Probation. Many others are believed to be sleeping rough.

Both pieces of research hope to identify specific numbers and the reasons why so many formally highly motivated, disciplined and proud men have succumbed to this situation.

Professor Killingley and his team have already identified numerous reports from the USA showing how PTSD and other operational war experiences have impacted upon US military personnel, this research stretches back to post Vietnam as well as the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initial impressions suggest that the US military appears to be much further ahead in its understanding and better equipped to deal with these issues than the UK.

Whilst the research will be wide ranging, early evidence is suggesting that excessive use of alcohol by some UK military personnel as a means of stress relief may be a contributing factor, often leading to dependency and domestic violence.

Anyone with personal experiences and information regarding this research is encouraged to contribute by contacting me via this blog or the Life Change UK web site. If requested, information will be dealt with and passed to the two research teams in confidence.

No comments: