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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 11, 2009: New Inquiry Into Ex-Service Prisoners

The Howard League for Penal Reform has today (Armistice Day) announced an independent inquiry into former armed service personnel in prison. The inquiry will be chaired by leading barrister Sir John Nutting QC.

The inquiry’s advisory group comprises:

  • Admiral the Lord Boyce GCB OBE DL
  • General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE DL
  • Major General David Jenkins
  • Wing Commander Dr Hugh Milroy, Chief Executive of Veterans Aid
  • Chris Sheffield OBE, former governor of Liverpool and Manchester prisons
  • Elfyn Llwyd MP

The inquiry is expected to last a year, and in which time the inquiry will hold consultation sessions with key stakeholders, visit prisons and go to the United States to examine new developments such as the introduction of Veterans’ Courts.

There are currently 84,593 people in prison in England and Wales, and estimates put the proportion who have previously served in the armed forces at anywhere between 5% and 10%. This means that at any one time some 4,000 to 8,300 prisoners have served in the armed forces.

Over 20,000 ex-servicemen are either in prison, being supervised by the probation service, or on parole, according to an earlier study from probation union Napo.

The vast majority are male. Many are former army, although the navy too is represented, particularly the Royal Marines. Soldiers comprise by far the largest occupational group in the prison system.

In addition, there are a large number of ex-servicemen who are under supervision and serving community sentences or are being supervised following a lengthy prison sentence.

The inquiry is being held at the instigation of Howard League President Lord Carlile QC, after he received representations concerning the numbers of former armed service personnel in the prison system.

Lord Carlile QC said:

“As the oldest penal reform charity in the world, and with United Nations consultative status, the Howard League for Penal Reform is well placed to launch such an important inquiry. I hope this inquiry will start a debate on how to deal with those most affected by their time in the forces. It is imperative that we find ways to help prevent armed service personnel ending up in prison."

“It is fitting that the inquiry launches on Armistice Day, when the whole country remembers the sacrifices our armed forces have made on our behalf.”

Sir John Nutting QC, chair of the inquiry, said:

“I am delighted to have been invited by the Howard League for Penal Reform to chair this important inquiry. There is mounting evidence that increasing numbers of former armed service personnel are finding themselves in prison and we are worried as to the implications. It is widely known that many former armed service personnel face difficulties when returning to the community as a civilian."

“We need to get to the bottom of why so many of them find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system after they have left the services. It is vital that the complex needs of armed forces personnel are adequately addressed and that we do everything we can to help those who serve their country adjust to civilian life.”