The Howard League for Penal Reform’s Inquiry into Former Armed Service Personnel in Prison has today (Thursday 23 June) published its final report in the run up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 25 June.
With official estimates suggesting that English and Welsh prisons hold around 3,000 ex-servicemen, there is public concern as to why those who have served their country go on to offend.
Theories have been put forward that the numbers of ex-servicemen in prison are on the increase, that ex-servicemen may be more likely to end up in prison than the civilian population, that recent action in Iraq and Afghanistan is significantly contributing to the rise of ex-servicemen in prison and that, in particular, it is combat-related trauma which is driving the crime that ex-servicemen commit.
The inquiry has found little or no evidence to justify any of these theories. The numbers of ex-servicemen in prison appear broadly similar to previous estimates, although ther