Focus On: Armed Forces Charities in the Criminal Justice System

What is the purpose of the report? 

Although only a relatively small percentage of ex-Service personnel come into contact with the criminal justice system, armed forces charities provide a wide variety of support for those who do.

This Focus On report intends to provide, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of the support delivered by armed forces charities for members of the armed forces community who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

What does it cover?

As part of the Focus On series, this report provides more specific analysis of the work of armed forces charities across the UK – in this case, armed forces charities which support members of the armed forces community in the criminal justice system.

In this report, we use the phrase ‘criminal justice support’ to define any activity which helps members of the armed forces community who have been in contact with the criminal justice system.

The report aims to provide the reader with:

  • Exploration of the types and timing of criminal justice support offered by charities
  • Assessment of expenditure on criminal justice provision
  • Insights on collaboration, impact evaluation and practical challenges

In addition, the report includes several case studies to demonstrate criminal justice support.

Who is it for?

This is a unique resource for charities, practitioners, government, policymakers and researchers to understand what armed forces charities do to support members of the armed forces community in the criminal justice system.

What did we find?

  • Thirty-one armed forces charities deliver criminal justice support – equating to around 1.6% of all UK armed forces charities.
  • Armed forces charities deliver criminal justice support to at least 3,200 beneficiaries each year, spending at least £4.5 million.
  • Charities provide a range of services at various stages, from during police custody to release from prison.
  • Relatively few charities deliver direct support to ex-Service personnel in prison.
  • Armed forces charities frequently work together but are less likely to partner with statutory organisations.

What did people say?

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust: ‘For anyone claiming to hold dear the interests of the Armed Forces community, be they politician, official, media or charity, the DSC’s Focus On series is a must read.  This particular report provides the evidence base and hence understanding of the Criminal Justice System, upon which all good policy decisions should be made.’

 

Chloe Mackay, Co-Chair, Cobseo Veterans in the Criminal Justice System Cluster (from the Foreword): ‘Having the support of a charity that knows what they have been through and takes an interest in them can give veterans the strength they need to turn their lives around. I welcome this report, which provides insight into the delivery of support to veterans in the Criminal Justice System.’

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