Ex-Service Personnel and the Justice System: New synthesis of evidence and policy

Today we release the first in our series of thematic research and policy summaries, with the initial theme of focus being ex-Service personnel and the Justice System.

At the FiMT Research Centre, we are committed to ensuring that ‘evidence is at the heart of decision making for the benefit of ex-Service personnel and their families’. One mechanism for achieving this objective is the production of research and policy summaries for each of the nine transition themes which organise the Centre.[1] These summaries aim to provide an accessible and robust synthesis of up-to-date research evidence, policy, and practice relevant to the specified theme of focus. It is intended that they are used to inform policy and practice, as well as future research, thereby putting evidence at the heart of decision making for the benefit of ex-Service personnel and their families.

Over the past six months, we used a robust methodology which combined a narrative literature review with stakeholder consultations to produce summaries of existing research evidence and policy about United Kingdom (UK) ex-Service personnel involved in Justice System.

The research summary details several risk factors which have been identified as being associated with an increased likelihood of offending amongst ex-Service personnel, as well as highlighting some of the challenges faced by this group when navigating the Justice System. Further evidence is needed to provide an up-to-date picture of their support needs, that also includes understanding the experiences and needs of families/dependents.

Owing to the devolved nature of the UK Justice System, the policy summary reveals that there is currently no unified approach to assisting ex-Service personnel in this setting. In its place, a complex ecosystem of support has emerged which consists of highly localised programmes and partnerships. To ensure consistent support provision for ex-Service personnel within the Justice System and their families/dependents, more cohesive services and policy are needed.

You can read the full summaries and the accompanying one-page syntheses on our website using the links below.

Research Summary https://www.fimt-rc.org/research/justice-system

Policy Summary https://www.fimt-rc.org/policy-and-practice/justice-system

If you have any questions or comments, we very much value your feedback – please get in touch at [email protected]

The next in our series of thematic research and policy summaries will address post-Service employment; watch this space for stakeholder engagement calls as part of the process. Due for release in summer 2024.

[1] A list of the transition themes is available here: https://www.fimt-rc.org/themes.

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