An inquiry into former armed service personnel in prison has found no evidence that having served for your country makes veterans more likely to end up in prison than civilians.
But the Howard League for Penal Reform report did find military veterans are twice as likely to become convicted sex offenders than members of the general public and that veterans are more likely to commit violent offences.
Veterans in both the US and UK are more likely to serve prison sentences for violent and sexual offences than those in the civilian population.
2018 update, USA
“Before You Enlist!” provides a rational voice to counter the seductive and often deceptive recruiting practices of the U.S. military. The message is not “don’t enlist” but rather to provide young people and their families a more complete picture of the life-altering consequences of joining the military – especially in wartime. Latest version: 2018. This short film is from the US so many of the details about recruitment are different from the UK, but the general questions to ask 'before you enlist' are similar.
Michael Clohessy returned from Iraq with a distinguished war record — and ended up in prison. Our jails are swollen with former soldiers. Why can’t they stay out of trouble?
A decade after Deepcut, MoD reports reveal failure to tackle problem affecting hundreds of trainees.
AT EASE is an advice service to those in the armed forces and family members which has been running since the 1980s. It is staffed by volunteers. There is a telephone helpline or you can send an email. There is information on various terms of service issues and conscientious objection on the website.
An independent report by David Gee, published in 2007, highlighting the risks posed to young people through joining the military, how young people from disadvantaged communities are targeted, how information available to potential recruits is often misleading and how the terms of service are complicated, confusing and severely restricting. The research found that a large proportion join for negative reasons, including the lack of civilian career options.