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The Barriers to Disclosure and Access to Specialist Services for Ex-Armed Services Personnel in the Criminal Justice System in Wales
Swansea University Author: Jason Davies
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Executive SummaryThis study was designed to evaluate the barriers to identification and access to specialist services for ex-armed services personnel (ex-ASP) within the criminal justice system (CJS) in Wales. This evaluation was commissioned by IOM Cymru SToMP and independently conducted by researc...
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Executive SummaryThis study was designed to evaluate the barriers to identification and access to specialist services for ex-armed services personnel (ex-ASP) within the criminal justice system (CJS) in Wales. This evaluation was commissioned by IOM Cymru SToMP and independently conducted by researchers at the University of Swansea.The research was conducted between August – December 2018 across police, probation and prison services throughout Wales, as well as with relevant third sector organisations. Primary research included quantitative, qualitative and observational methods and secondary quantitative data was also used. Data included every police force, every prison and a geographically spread number of probation services across Wales. In terms of formal qualitative data, a total of 58 individuals were interviewed across these sectors. This included both staff and service users. Many others were spoken to informally through visits to institutions and attendance at meetings.The data highlighted specific issues within each sector, as well as broader ranging barriers across the criminal justice system. Operational factors were the key barrier to identification, particularly across police and probation services where, in the majority of services, service users were not directly asked if they had ever served in the armed forces. Greater availability of information, for both staff and service users, was also highlighted as a key operational issue. This was particularly shown to be the case for service users who may choose not to identify themselves. Other potentially disadvantaged groups in terms of identification and accessing specialist services were women; individuals convicted of sexual offences; individuals serving short custodial sentences or on remand and those serving community orders. Access to services was largely location dependent, both in terms of the help available and the support offered to access it. There also appeared to be a disparity between the provision offered by the third sector in prison, when compared to the experiences of individuals who had tried to access this help once back in the community. Overall, there was a clear need for greater collaborative working between the CJS and third sector, as well as for a substantial improvement in data recording and monitoring across the board.
Report commissioned by the Integrated Offender Management Board on behalf of National Probation Service in Wales and Partnerships.
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences