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On 11 January 2014, Chris Grayling announced a review into the rehabilitation needs of ex-Armed Services personnel convicted of criminal offences and given a custodial or community sentence. The aim is to identify properly the reasons for ex-Service personnel ending up in the justice system, to look at the support provided to them and how that support can be improved. The review will be led by the MP for Penrith and the Border, Rory Stewart, who served in the Armed Forces and also worked as a local official in Iraq and with the voluntary sector in Afghanistan.
The review, which is aiming to report in October 2014, will consider:
- how ex-Service personnel are identified on conviction;
- what advice and support is currently available to them;
- how to adopt and disseminate best practice relating to their rehabilitation needs, including taking evidence of effective interventions in other countries;
- consultation with the Cross-Government Military Reference Group.
The latest figures* available from 2009 suggest that former Forces staff comprise around 3.5 per cent of the prison population (2,820) and around the same percentage of offenders on licence (5,860). Almost all convicted veterans are men from non-commissioned ranks and 80 per cent were army careerists.