Risk of Incarceration Among Male Veterans and Nonveterans – Are Veterans of the All Volunteer Force at Greater Risk?


This study examines whether military service increases the risk of incarceration for US veterans compared to their non veteran peer group.



In this study, we used data from national surveys of U.S. veterans and nonveterans to investigate whether military service increased risk for incarceration compared to non-veteran peers. White veterans aged thirty-five to fifty-four (early years of the All Volunteer Force and the Vietnam era) were at higher risk for incarceration than white nonveterans. Black and Hispanic veterans of these eras were generally at lower risk of incarceration than age-and race-matched nonveterans. For all racial/ethnic groups, the risk of incarceration among veterans compared to nonveterans declined among those who served in the later years of the implementation of the All Volunteer Force. These findings may reflect the disadvantaged backgrounds of recruits during the early implementation of the All Volunteer Force, from 1973 to 1980, and the improved quality of personnel recruited after 1980. Among all males, the risk of incarceration was not elevated among Vietnam-era and World War II veterans.

Full Reference

Risk of Incarceration among Male Veterans and Nonveterans.Greg A. Greenberg. Robert A. RosenheckRani A. Desai. Armed Forces & Society. Vol 33, Issue 3, pp. 337 - 350