EDEN MP Rory Stewart has been given a key job to review what more could be done to help armed forces’ veterans who end up in jail.
The former army officer and diplomat will look at the support provided for ex-service personnel who are serving custodial or community sentences, including ways of improving the rehabilitation programmes currently in place.
Mr Stewart, who served as an officer with the Black Watch, was appointed to his new role by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who was concerned at the ‘significant number’ of military veterans now in jail, some of them having suffered from post-traumatic stress.
Mr Stewart, who is MP for Penrith and the Border, said: "Veterans have made a unique contribution to our society, and we owe them a huge debt. Their needs are specific, and it is an honour to have the opportunity to support veterans in this way.
“I am very much looking forward to working with veterans organisations, the armed forces and the ministry of justice to make sure we have the best programme for veterans in the world.”
Mr Grayling said: “After leaving the armed forces the vast majority of veterans continue to make a hugely positive contribution to our country. But for a few the transition to civilian life isn't always straightforward, and some end up in the criminal justice system.
“I want to make sure that we take specific account of their needs and experiences and make sure that they get the right rehabilitation to get their lives back together again. It's the very least we can do for people who put their lives on the line for our country.”
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “Armed forces veterans have made a significant commitment to their country and it is right that the government should help support them when they hit tough times.”
Mr Stewart is encouraging any constituents with experience of these issues to get in touch and help him to better understand how support strutures can be improved.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01768 758 772.