Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prison Reform Trust > Press & Policy > News

Prison Reform Trust > Press & Policy > News

An example of joined-up Government with Health and Justice working together. Those suffering with mental illness are to avoid custody and be treated for their illness.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ex-service Personnel: 16 Mar 2011: Written answers and statements (

Ex-service Personnel: 16 Mar 2011: Written answers and statements (

It is important to recognise that these figs are but a 'snap shot' in Sep 2009 and fail to recognise the recent increases noted by many Probation Trusts and Police forces around the country. Furthermore, matches were only accepted if date of birth was an exact match. As a result any individuals whose date of birth was incorrectly recorded on either the MoJ or MOD datasets would contribute to false negative matches. When interpreting the results, it should be borne in mind that the data matching exercise is based on two administrative data sources, the purpose of which is not research. The MOD database in particular represents the best available information at the current time about Service leavers, but it is acknowledged that it is neither complete nor entirely accurate.

It is also worth noting that veterans are believed to make up the largest single employment group within the Justice System.

Veterans Treatment Court Resources | NADCP

Veterans Treatment Court Resources | NADCP

An example of how some Courts in the USA look upon and deal with Veteran offenders. Will we learn from this experience?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Aftermath PTSD - Home page

Aftermath PTSD was launched in June 2010. Through the use of visual art exhibitions, it is dedicated to raising national awareness of Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CR-PTSD) and funds for military charities. It has a keen interest in helping veterans who enter the Justice System, delivering visual art workshops in prisons. The workshops enable participants to effect positive emotional change and growth.

An Alternative to Custody and Probation for Military Veteran Offenders

In 2000, the Military Covenant said -

“Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices – including the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ in the service of the Nation. In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service.”

The Covenant clearly acknowledges that the State has a ‘duty of care’ to members of it Armed Forces.

“When I left the Army in 2004 I had been diagnosed as suffering with depression. I left the main gate of my Regiment with my TV in one hand and my kit bag in the other, not knowing where I was going or what to do” – a former Army soldier now serving 7 years in prison.

Whilst in recent times support for military veterans has undoubtedly improved, regrettably an increasing number are entering the justice system. Official estimates of numbers in prison vary between 3.5% to 9% with individual prisons reporting 14%. Accurate numbers on probation and community orders are not known; however, NAPO suggests as many as 12,500. Whichever figs are accurate, former military veterans represent the largest occupational group within our justice system; this surely indicates that something is wrong!

A recent report by the Howard League for Penal Reform, entitled ‘Leaving Forces Life’ concluded that, despite there being a great deal more help available via service charities, individuals are still falling through the net and ending up in the Justice System, often years after discharge. Issues stemming from post-service dysfunction, mental illness, poverty, addictions and marital breakdown are all contributing. None can be seen as being addressed within the ‘spirit’ of the Military Covenant.

An alternative to custody and probation for military veteran offenders is urgently needed. To that end, a new and innovative project is currently being developed. Entitled ‘The Veterans Change Partnership’, it involves four Third Sector organisations delivering intensive and purposeful residential programmes of rehabilitation, personal development, skills training and ongoing mentor support into accommodation, further training and work.

The project has been welcomed by the Minister for Prisons, Rt Hon Crispin Blunt MP and efforts are now being made to identify the necessary funding.

The organisations involved include –
Alabare’ Christian Care and Support, Exeter City YMCA, The Langley House Trust and Life Change UK.

All have a depth of experience in working with people with complex needs and who present a high risk of re-offending.

More information is available via Trevor Philpott (former Royal Marine officer) at or 07779221162

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Rehabilitation through prison rugby - Ministry of Justice

Rehabilitation through prison rugby - Ministry of Justice

Using sport to develop respect, team work and self esteem. Hopefully more prisons will follow this lead.

COBSEO-unique-nature-10.pdf (application/pdf Object)

COBSEO-unique-nature-10.pdf (application/pdf Object)

A clear statement and demonstration as to why the Military Covenant is so essential and appropriate. Will Government action follow the rhetoric? Will those veterans who suffer mental illness and end up in the Justice System get the support they need?