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Ex-military more likely to be jailed for violent and sexual 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.

The findings emerged as part of the Howard League for Penal Reform inquiry which also found that veterans were less likely to go prison.

The briefing 'Leave No Veteran Behind' follows a visit to the USA and is part of Howard League’s inquiry into former armed service personnel in prison, chaired by Sir John Nutting QC, which aims to uncover why veterans enter the penal system and will make recommendations to the government about how to prevent offending.

The inquiry found that veterans are less likely to end up in prison. In England and Wales, civilians are thought to be 43 per cent more likely to end up in prison, and in the USA, veterans are less than half as likely to be in prison as other adult males.

However veterans are more likely to be serving sentences for violent offences. Among State prisoners, 57 per cent of veterans were categorised as ‘violent offenders’, compared to 47 per cent of non-veterans. In the UK, 32.9 per cent of veterans are in prison for violence against the person, compared to 28.6 per cent of the non-veteran prison population.

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