A think tank has created a new commission to investigate why and how the issue may be resolved after claiming that veterans of the military are more likely to be detained than the general public.
According to a preliminary research published on Tuesday by the Council on Criminal Justice think tank and based on Justice Department statistics from 2015, roughly one-third of veterans claim to have been arrested at least once, compared to less than one-fifth of all non-veterans.
The Preliminary Assessment of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System report, which was released on Tuesday, also stated that according to Justice Department data, roughly 181,500, or 8% of all U.S. inmates, were veterans.
The Council on Criminal Justice also established the Veterans Justice Commission on Tuesday. The commission will provide its findings and suggestions on reducing veteran incarceration in two years. Former defense secretary and Republican senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel will preside over the commission, which will also include former defense secretary and White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, a former sergeant major in the Marine Corps, other former military and criminal justice professionals, and two former prisoners of war.
The early analysis revealed numerous risk factors, such as combat-related trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, substance addiction, negative childhood experiences, and sexual trauma while serving in the military, that contribute to veterans being locked up.
The examination discovered that numerous risk variables were interconnected; for instance, traumatic brain damage and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can both result in substance dependence.
Veterans who are serving time are often 51 or 52 years old, but prisoners who are not veterans are typically 38 to 40 years old. According to the study, even though they may be younger than 50, veterans who served in the military after September 11, 2001, may be at a higher risk of being locked up, in part because many of them had several overseas deployments.
Inmates who were veterans were almost exclusively men (98%), and 69% of them were doing time for serious offences, compared to 57% of inmates who were not veterans.