Violent Veterans – ‘New research shows that one in ten soldiers who have returned from combat are displaying increased violent behaviour, both in the home and on the streets’ – Violent Veterans-BBC
As a consequence, increasing numbers are entering the Criminal Justice System (CJ, prison and / or probation; currently in excess of 14,000, representing the largest single occupational group. Combat Stress estimate 50,000 veterans will suffer with various forms of mental health problems.
Veterans and the Justice System: The next forensic Frontier
Whilst the majority of veterans achieve an excellent transition back into civilian life, others struggle to do so. The unique challenges that some face during their transition result in some entering the criminal justice system (CJS). The human and financial costs are enormous and amount to many millions of Pounds. In order to address this situation and meet the principles and values enshrined within the Armed Forces Military Covenant, there is a growing need for more detailed assessments of this important service user group, and a better understanding of their needs, particularly mental health; see the following video:
The RSA is also putting its influence behind the project – see RSA Comment blog here
USA – Veterans Courts
Many veterans return from combat with various levels of mental health issues, including PTSD, depression, anxiety and stress, all of which can greatly affect their day to day lives. Some turn to drugs or alcohol in order to deal with it and end up in the criminal justice system. The USA provides special courts to help veteran offenders. The success of these courts and their programmes speak volumes – See here