Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on our Service Personnel

There continues to be much debate regarding the impact of PTSD on military personnel following intensive periods of operations, particularly during the more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The issue is being linked to the increasing numbers of former servicemen committing offences and entering the justice system. For anyone interested in such issues, a recent interview with former soldier Ben Close serves to highlight the problem, see -

In addition, recent research by Kent Police has demonstrated increasing numbers of former military personnel being arrested for various offences. If we ignore this evidence we will ultimately fail those who have put their lives on the line for their country as well as increase the already considerable pressures and costs on our prison and probation services.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BIS - Offender Learning and Skills - Primary Aim

The Government's BIS Offender Learning and Skill web page ( states that "punishment will always be a primary aim of the criminal justice system". It goes on to say that "the Government is determined to do more to turn offenders away from crime and into work, improving their skills, and encouraging them to lead productive lives".

Whilst punishment must be seen as a natural consequence of committing crime, it is disappointing to see that punishment is still being promoted as 'a primary aim'. Such emphasis undermines efforts to promote and establish regimes that focus upon rehabilitation. How refreshing it would be to read that 'the primary aim of the justice system is to reduce crime and re-offending'.