Background Briefing Paper


Background Briefing Paper



Lt Gen Sir Robert Fulton KCB

Lt Gen Sir James Dutton KCB, CBE

Mr Paul McDowell- Former HM Inspector of Probation & CEO of NACRO

Ms Angela Rippon CBE

Mr Marc Wicks MBE – Former Royal Marine Corps RSM and Nato HQ SACT Command Sergeant Major

As a Community Interest Company (CIC), the VCP is a not for profit organisation with the objectives to provide programmes of rehabilitation and support for and to former military veteran offenders and their families. In order to deliver this work, the project will be dependent upon a blend of income streams from public, private and charitable sources. Initial start-up funding is currently being sought.

‘The Forgotten WAR of NI and its impact upon those who served there!’

New documentary set to blast stereotypes of PTSD – A team of filmmakers vow to break down the stigma and stereotypes associated with post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans with a new documentary showcasing the success stories of those who’ve broken through the fog after war. Check out this story on




The very moving and powerful film clips shown here and produced by Peter Carruthers, epitomize the tremendous struggles that many veterans and their families endure.

Yet, the Armed Forces Covenant describes how the state should recognise the sacrifice our military veterans and their families make for their country and how they should therefore receive due care and support throughout their lives –

Whilst the majority of military personnel are very successful in making the transition back to civilian life, an increasing minority fail to do so and support is sadly lacking.

It is estimated that, on any given day, 7% of the prison population are military veterans (circa 6,000+) with the equivalent number on some form of Probation / Community Order.  Critically, The Forces in Mind Trust, Transition Mapping Study in August 2013 estimated that unsuccessful military transition costs the UK £114M per annum.

Of note: –

  • Veterans in prison accounts for £20M
  • Veteran’s mental health costs are estimated £26M
  • Veteran alcohol misuse costs £35M
  • Veteran homelessness accounts for £5.5M

The recent Stephen Phillips MP QC review of veterans within the Criminal Justice System (CJS) clearly indicates that a new focus needs to be directed towards addressing these issues.

Transforming Rehabilitation

The Executive Summary of the ‘Target Operating Model Version 2 of the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme seeks to promote quality, flexibility, freedom and innovation in the delivery of programmes of rehabilitation services with military veterans seen as a priority group. The VCP will meet these principles and needs.

The VCP is specifically intended to provide comprehensive and intensive residential programmes of rehabilitation, intervention and support to those former military personnel and their families, who have entered or are at risk of entering the CJS.

Based upon the concept of positive relationships and an environmental approach to training and learning, the proposal is unique. Consisting of 3 phases, the strength of the programme rests in its eclectic and holistic design, with each element being closely interlinked, mutually supporting and not seen or delivered in isolation.


Initial referrals / assessments / motivational interviews – Initial referrals will stem from the requirements, guidance and signposting of external public sector agencies, service providers and/or partner organisations.  (See Referral Pathways below)


11 x Week Residential Rehabilitation programmes – Demanding and intensive 11 x week residential programmes of personal development, academic, social, communication and practical life skills training, all of which are designed to reduce re-offending and enable the veteran offender and their family to forge new and positive lives as worthy citizens within society.  Recognising the often profound impact of combat on the transition back to civilian life , the programme will include neurological services for acquired brain Injury, mental health services addressing Combat Related Post Traumatic Distress Disorder (CRPTD), group/individual therapies and skills training (including NVQ  and functional skills qualifications).   An outline of the Phase 2 content is given at Annex A.

Families: – In parallel with these programmes, additional support help for family members will also be offered.  These will include group and individual counselling / support and family information, advice and guidance (IAG).


Mentor and Centre support into accommodation, further training and employment – Enabling veterans to successfully complete the transition back into civilian and family life through a minimum of 9 months peer mentoring and VCP support.  This phase will include links to other partners and their resources, addressing potential relapse prevention and ongoing motivation, family liaison, accommodation, training, volunteering, work placement and support networks.

The programme will maintain high professional standards linking with the Transforming Rehabilitation Lead for the South West (Working Links) and the various Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) in the region.  A list of the VCP network and their contributions is given at Annex B.

Referrals: –

The VCP will link into the new sentencing requirements as follows: –

  • Upon Release from Prison – As outlined below, the programme will be used for those offenders released from custody on license, working in addition to or as a replacement for other top-up supervision requirements that may be imposed.
  • Intensive Community Orders – It can also be used as an alternative to short-term custodial sentences and as part of the Police and NHS England Liaison and Diversion programme, incorporating the residential programme outlined above, all of which are aimed at reducing inappropriate behaviours and re-offending.

Suitability requirements of attendees:

The majority of those veteran offenders seen as suitable for a Community Order will be considered for the VCP. Given the holistic nature and design of the programme and delivery location, those with offences of a predatory nature or high risk of harm, including those subject to Multi Agency Public Protection (MAPPA) requirements, are not considered suitable for attendance.

Potential Referral Pathways to the VCP Programme


Court Referral Orders and  CRC/NPS Conditional Discharge


Deferred Sentence –


Mental Health Authorities and General Consortia and Practices
Drug Training Orders –


Private Mental Health Clinics – e.g. Ansel Group Nottingham
Standard Prison Licence Job Centre Plus
Release on Temporary Licence from Prisons Resettlement Services

Parole Board and Prisons

MCTC Colchester
Supervision Licence –

Courts and CRCs

Royal British Legion, SSAFA, Regimental Associations and Self-referral
Combination Order


Combat Stress and other specialist providers
Bail/Courts NHS and Police ‘Liaison and Diversion’ programmes


The cost of putting someone through the programme will be £9,500 as opposed to in excess of £200,000 per person in the current justice system, year on year. When taking into account the additional support and courses for the families, the beneficiary costs reduce to £7,500.

Outcome Evidence and Sustainment:

Outcome Evidence will be obtained from a robust and comprehensive evaluation by SERIO and the University of Plymouth, enabling a drive towards national change and a blue print / flag ship for other areas in the country which may wish to emulate.

Sustainment will stem from a blend of ‘joined up’ funding resources, including: –

  • Transforming Rehabilitation lead and NOMS ESF, leading to Social Finance and Payment by Results contracts through Working links (Lead for SW Transforming Rehabilitation (TR)) and SW CRCs.
  • The Social Stock Exchange (SSX).  The SSX is providing different types of regional funding specifically available to organisations such as the VCP – see
  • Education funding from accredited courses, through Duchy and Bicton Agricultural Colleges.
  • South West Clinical Commissioning Groups as part of the South West Peninsula (Devon, Dorset, Plymouth, Torbay, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly) Veterans’ Health Needs Assessment.
  • National Liaison and Diversion Development Network – (Police and NHS England).
  • DWP / JCP – (Job Search and Access to Employment).
  • Local Authorities through regional community covenants, Housing benefits and Troubled Families budgets.
  • SW LEP – Social Inclusion, Skills Investment & Development programmes.
  • EU Structural Investment Fund (SIF) + Regional Growth and Development Funds.
  • Military Charities – Royal British Legion & Help 4 Heroes, Forces in Mind, X-Forces and Regimental Associations.

Additional funding will be sought from the private sector, including potential crowd funding and corporate investment.


The VCP will provide cost effective programmes of rehabilitation and intervention, supporting the new ‘Target Operating Model Version 2 of the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme’, meeting the needs of individual veteran offenders and those of their immediate families and close associates. The latter recognises the under reporting of domestic violence and abuse and will seek to support families through such difficulties.

Replication and future funding

The programme has the potential for replication elsewhere around the UK, with access to funding from associated national and local public, private and charitable sector organisations, including payment by results.


Annex A: – Outline of VCP Phase 2 Residential Programme Content
Motivation – Personal responsibility and the course contract 1 Day
Exeter City YMCA – Attitudes, thinking and behaviour Programme entitled ‘Perspectives – Doing Life Differently’ 9 Days
Offending behaviour & Restorative Justice 3 Days
Anger Management 1 Day
Health and Well-being – substance misuse – alcohol and drugs awareness 5 Days
Education – Basic and Key Functional skills – including – ICT,Numeracy, literacy, budgeting, personal finance & debt avoidance 5 Days
Outdoor education, team work, self-esteem training 8 Weekends
Job Search – CV writing, personal interviewing, soft Communication skills and work experience 4 Days
Community work and volunteering 3 Days
The Warrior programme 3 Days
One to one therapy /counselling & mental health issues As required
Identification and access to Accommodation needs 2 Days
Personal / family administration, including – access to local authorities / schools / GP practice / Dentist etc. 2 Days
Introduction to Horticulture 5 Days
Healthy eating, food preparation and cooking skills 5 Days
Children & Family relationships – ‘Just what we need’, -insight into an individual’s innate emotional needs 12 Half day sessions
Introduction to mentors and mentoring – (continued for 9 months) 1 day
Family visits weekend 6 Weeks
Family support and IAG courses Throughout

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