Rory to lead veteran’s review

I have been asked to lead a Government review to look into the reasons why some of Britain’s veterans turn to a life of crime after they leave the armed forces. I will also be looking at the support provided for ex-service personnel convicted of criminal offences and given custodial or community sentences, and how that support can be improved. I expect the review to last six months. It will consider issues including how ex-service personnel are identified on conviction and what advice and support is available to them – as well as looking at effective interventions in other countries.

Veterans have made a unique contribution to our society, and we owe them a huge debt. Their needs are specific, and it is an honour to have the opportunity to support veterans in this way. I am very much looking forward to working with veterans organisations, the armed forces and the Ministry of Justice to make sure we have the best programme for veterans in the world.

Latest figures, taken from a study by the Ministry of Defence in 2010, suggest that ex-servicemen and women make up around 3.5% of the prison population, and around the same percentage of offenders on licence, while almost all convicted veterans were men from non-commissioned ranks and 80% were army careerists.

Please get in touch with me if you have experience of these issues, or any advice to share.

If you are interested in reading more, here are links to two papers by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which lay out many of the issues and challenges clearly.

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