Inquiry into former armed service personnel in prison


On 23 June 2011, the Howard League for Penal Reform published the final report of the independent inquiry into former armed service personnel in prison. The inquiry sought to discover the reasons why veterans enter the penal system, investigated how former armed service personnel can be given appropriate support to prevent offending and looked for good practice and new ideas.

The inquiry was chaired by Sir John Nutting QC, one of the country’s leading barristers. 

The inquiry involved primary research to elicit:

• The sorts of offences ex-servicemen in prison have committed
• The problems they faced on leaving the armed services
• The support they received

The inquiry made detailed recommendations on its findings. It reviewed the support offered by the various voluntary sector organisations and that provided by the armed services. It considered more structured approaches following active service.

The inquiry held consultation sessions with key stakeholders, visited prisons and went to the United States to examine new developments such as the introduction of Veterans’ Courts. The inquiry lasted nearly two years.