Reviewing & improving identification of ex-service personnel in the Criminal Justice System in England, Wales and Scotland and their access to and take up of support

Project Details


This project is a partnership between Nacro, the Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) and the Institute of Social Innovation and Impact (ISII) at the University of Northampton. This collaboration brings together highly regarded academic expertise; working experience of every stage of the criminal justice pathway; experience of working with ex-service personnel; and a strong track record of creating policy and practice change.
There is currently limited data on the numbers of ex-service personnel in the CJS across England, Wales and Scotland. More is known about those people who are imprisoned but the statistics across all three jurisdictions provide an incomplete picture for a number of reasons, most significantly the reliance on self-disclosure. Government statistics estimate that approximately 3.5% - 4% in custody and on community orders in England & Wales are ex-service personnel, and external estimates have reported that the proportion in the prison population ranges from 3.5% and 17%. 11% of people in prison in Scotland reported having been in the armed forces in the 2019 Scottish Prison Survey.
Across other areas of the CJS there is a lack of reliable data, such as for those on probation (it was estimated that 3.4% of those subject to probation supervision in 2011 were ex-service personnel), and in addition there is a lack of data on those who are at risk of offending, such as those who may have been identified by social or welfare services.
The aims of the project are to (1) review the current processes and mechanisms in place for identifying ex-Service personnel within the CJS of England, Wales and Scotland, identify any shortcomings, and make practical recommendations on how identification could be improved, and (2) to examine the barriers to uptake of support for both ex-service personnel in the CJS and their families, and make appropriate recommendations.
This involves:
- Carrying out a comprehensive review of the CJS in both England and Wales, and Scotland. This will take a whole system approach and examine the processes and mechanisms in place for identifying ex-service personnel, from first contact with the CJS at the police station (including Liaison and Diversion services) through to the courts, prisons, and probation.
- Assessing whether, and to what extent, the processes currently in place are fit for purpose i.e. to accurately inform numbers and as a result resource provision.
Effective start/end date2/08/2128/02/23

Collaborative partners


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