Most ex-Service personnel transition effectively into civilian life, but some face challenges—including poor mental and/or physical health, unemployment, financial hardship and homelessness—that hinder a successful transition. This can lead to some individuals committing crimes and finding themselves within the criminal justice system (CJS).
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust provides grants across a number of different programmes, including the Ex-Service Personnel in the CJS Programme. The aim of the Programme is to reduce reoffending and provide support to ex-Service personnel who have come into contact with the CJS. Through this Programme, the Trust awarded £4.6 million in 2015 to 14 projects, followed by a further £1.1 million of continuation grants in 2018 to seven of the 14 projects. The projects and services funded under the Programme are dedicated to helping identify and support ex-Service personnel throughout the various stages of the CJS, including custody, pre-sentencing, the point of sentence and post-release from custody.
RAND Europe was commissioned to evaluate this Programme, to help the Trust understand how the projects have met the aims of the Programme and what lessons and areas of good practices from the Programme could be identified with applicability for other relevant services and projects and with relevance for wider public policy. The evaluation was guided by 11 evaluation questions (EQs), nine of which focus on the individual projects, and two of which are programme-level questions.
This is the final report of a study evaluating the Ex-Service Personnel in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) Programme, run by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. The aim of this Programme is to reduce reoffending and provide help and support to ex-Service personnel who have come into contact with the CJS. The evaluation provides an overview and assessment of the Programme by analysing the projects that have been funded, with specific regard to the needs targeted, how support is provided, the extent to which positive changes relating to ex-Service personnel have occurred, the sustainability of the projects, the use of data and the referral pathways used, as well as lessons learnt and areas of good practice that are applicable at the Programme-level.
Sarah Grand-Clement, S., Dascalu, D., Favaro, M., Cox, K., and Harris R. (2020) Evaluation of the Ex-Service Personnel in the Criminal Justice System Programme. Cambridge: Rand Corporation.