The statistics come from a nationwide survey of probation officers who say many of the former military personnel were suffering from stress and depression from their service.
Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of probation officers union Napo expressed how he feels there is overwhelming evidence that ex servicemen and women are simply not receiving enough support upon returning to civilian life.
“The levels of post traumatic stress disorder and depression are alarming. If these men are brave enough to risk their lives for their country then surely they deserve proper care afterwards.”
Although no official figures have been assembled regarding the exact number of veterans in prison or on probation, the Napo study conducted this summer indicates that at least six percent of the 243,000 people under supervision in the community are ex servicemen.
The new study of 62 probation offices in England and Wales highlights 90 case histories of servicemen sentenced to community penalties, with almost half of them suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression.
Tory Shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve said of the report: “It is a disgrace that so many who have served their country are languishing in our prisons.
Tracey Johnson, of Veterans In Prison, said: “Not enough is done to help former servicemen and women adjust to civilian life. When you train someone to kill you have to put a mental switch on to enable them to do it. But the trouble is they are not switched off again when they arrive back in civvy street.”