This study evaluated the barriers to identification and access to specialist services for veterans within the criminal justice system in Wales.
The data highlighted specific issues within each sector, as well as broader ranging barriers across the criminal justice system. Operational factors were the key barrier to identification, particularly across police and probation services where, in the majority of services, service users were not directly asked if they had ever served in the armed forces. Greater availability of information, for both staff and service users, was also highlighted as a key operational issue. This was particularly shown to be the case for service users who may choose not to identify themselves. Other potentially disadvantaged groups in terms of identification and accessing specialist services were women; individuals convicted of sexual offences; individuals serving short custodial sentences or on remand and those serving community orders. Access to services was largely location dependent, both in terms of the help available and the support offered to access it. There also appeared to be a disparity between the provision offered by the third sector in prison, when compared to the experiences of individuals who had tried to access this help once back in the community. Overall, there was a clear need for greater collaborative working between the CJS and third sector, as well as for a substantial improvement in data recording and monitoring across the board.
Davies, G. and Davies, J. (2018) The Barriers to Disclosure and Access to Specialist Services for Ex-Armed Services Personnel in the Criminal Justice System in Wales: An Independent Evaluation.