In September 2009, NAPO – the Trade Union and Professional Association for Family Court and Probation Staff – published a briefing paper that concluded that 8.5% of the prison population, nearly 8,000, were ex-military and that 6% of those on probation and parole, about 12,000, were also veterans.
NAPO’s study, which contained the details of 90 case histories of veterans sentenced to community penalties, stated that: ‘Nearly half were suffering from diagnosed or undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression’.
It has been my experience that the authorities prefer to ignore and hide the problem of veterans who are suffering from combat- related PTSD. The problem is further complicated, however, by the fact that many veterans themselves do not want to know, or consider, that they might be suffering from ‘mental problems’. (Surely, hard, tough soldiers would not succumb to a condition like PTSD, they think).