Research and analysis

Service leavers and the criminal justice system

A Howard League article discussing veterans' transition from the armed forces and their involvement in the criminal justice system.



The Howard League for Penal Reform launched an independent inquiry into former armed service personnel in prison in November 2009. The inquiry aims to discover why some veterans find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system after they have left the armed forces. It is recognised that this can be sometime after discharge.

Researchers interviewed 29 ex-service personnel in two local and one high security English prisons to hear about their experiences of the resettlement process. Their service was verified.

This short briefing paper explores the points raised in our conversations with these individuals.