Posted by: dohgonuniversity | September 25, 2009


Revealed: the hidden army in UK prisons

More veterans in justice system than soldiers serving in Afghanistan, By Alan Travis

The number of former servicemen in prison or on probation or parole is now more than double the total British deployment in Afghanistan, according to a new survey. An estimated 20,000 veterans are in the criminal justice system, with 8,500 behind bars, almost one in 10 of the prison population.
The proportion of those in prison who are veterans has risen by more than 30% in the last five years.
The study by the probation officers’ union Napo uncovers the hidden cost of recent conflicts. The snapshot survey of 90 probation case histories of convicted veterans shows a majority with chronic alcohol or drug problems, and nearly half suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression as a result of their wartime experiences on active service.
Those involved had served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. They are most likely to have been convicted of a violent offence, particularly domestic violence.
The study provides the strongest evidence yet of a direct link between the mental health of those returning from combat zones, chronic alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence.
In many cases the symptoms of depression or stress did not become apparent for many years and included persistent flashbacks and nightmares. Read More…

Also in the news:
Too many Vets Disability Claims take too long to Process
Too many veterans’ disability claims take more than a year to process, the Veterans Affairs Department’s inspector general said. An audit showed that a year ago, 11,000 veterans had claims pending more than a year. It said the agency awarded retroactive payments totaling about $43 million for about a third of them. Of that total, it says about $14 million was unnecessarily delayed.

Veterans was discharged and jailed suffering from stress disorder
“They didn’t take my PTSD into account,” he said. “The judge said to me, ‘there are thousands who go through the same situation as yourself but they don’t act like you.’”

A Soldier’s Battle with Mental Illness
First Sergeant CJ Grisham was part of the invasion into Baghdad back in 2002.   When he returned home in 2003 he knew something wasn’t right.  “I would just get angry at little things and it started to affect my family,” said Grisham.  For nearly five years Grisham didn’t confront his issues.  “The reason we don’t want to talk about it because we don’t’ want to relive it.  It was bad enough the first time.”

The Battle Back Home
In “Shadow of the Sword” Jeremiah Workman, a Marine staff sergeant who won the Navy Cross for gallantry under fire in Iraq, offers a searing account of his own struggle with the demon now known simply by its acronym, PTSD.

Colleges prepare for an Influx of Veterans
Campuses will need to be prepared to deal with a host of issues returning veterans may face, including post- traumatic stress disorder, other mental health issues and homelessness. They also may need assistance navigating the paperwork and the bureaucracy of the Department of Veterans Affairs and finding housing and childcare.

Less than One-Third of Adults with Mental Illness will get help in 2009
One in four Americans over the age of 18 experience a mental health disorder in any given year, but a significant number go untreated…


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