Thursday, December 08, 2011

Reducing Re-offending by Veterans - Failing the Military Covenant

Insider information suggests that the current Prison Service National Offender Management Information System is flawed as not all assessments are including data on veterans on reception into the prison system. This is apparently down to lack of staff and time restraints.

"HM Prison Service is well aware of the high numbers of Veterans in the prison system, but a state of denial is being maintained as there are far reaching issues and ramifications if they lift the lid on this can of worms"!

Although some prisons have instigated veteran support groups, Michael Spur (Head of NOMS) has directed that Veterans will not be given any priority treatment whilst in the prison system. This decision fails to acknowledge the special needs and circumstances of veterans, particularly those suffering with combat related mental trauma and depression, often years after leaving the military. Only those who have personal experience of high intensity combat can understand the damaging impact this can have.

When will the PM and other Ministers recognise the special needs of veterans and the nation's failure to apply the Military Covenant? Having put their lives on the line for their country, veteran offenders and their families deserve better.

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