This is the area where the Armed Forces Covenant and its obligations of ‘support for life’ appear more clouded. Very few organisations will commit to working to support veterans in custody. In the NW, UK, there isn’t any military provider supporting veterans within the justice estate.
The question often mooted is, “Was their offending behaviour a result of their military experience?” If we acknowledge a drinking culture within the military, then maybe alcohol has had some bearing.
Is it that substance misuse has become a norm in life experiences, even in the military?
If we accept that some regiments, e.g., the infantry, personnel are taught to kill or be killed, then maybe that has some impact.
However, if we examine the recruitment process that targets young men and women from impoverished, socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds, then we might begin to see where the problems begin to raise its head.
Former military personnel are less likely to find themselves labelled as ex-offenders if they have had a successful military career spanning years or have been through officer training. Yes, some of these career personnel sometimes do become known to the Ministry of Justice, but just as with every other crime, ‘white-collar criminality’ is regarded very differently from general criminal behaviour that so often involves drugs, alcohol, and violence.
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