Social work with UK Armed Forces veterans in the Criminal Justice System: A critical examination of the characteristics and needs of veterans, the barriers to practice, and how they can be overcome.

Cotterill, M. (2021) Social work with UK Armed Forces veterans in the Criminal Justice System: A critical examination of the characteristics and needs of veterans, the barriers to practice, and how they can be overcome. Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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Abstract

The UK Armed Forces (UKAF) occupy a unique and privileged position in the nations psyche, reflected in the intense interest by the media, the public, and politicians on the experiences of UKAF personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. This has resulted in a heightened concern that service in the UKAF can lead to adverse effects to an individual’s health and wellbeing; giving rise to the perception that many veterans disproportionately experience poor mental health, alcohol and drug dependency, unemployment, homelessness, and are over-represented in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Accordingly, by way of a narrative literature review this paper has critically examined the characteristics and needs of UKAF veterans in the CJS, the barriers to social work practice and how they can be overcome. Relevant research and literature were synthesised to produce key themes which allowed for an understanding of the discrete experiences and characteristics of veterans, including factors contributing to their offending behaviour. An interplay was found between moral injury, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and hegemonic masculine culture in the UKAF that stimulates violence and aggression, alcohol misuse and barriers to help-seeking. These factors combined with difficulties in transitioning to civilian life were found to create an environment whereby some veterans, especially early service leavers (ESLs), are vulnerable to experiencing high levels of social isolation and involvement in the CJS, as well as harming their families. As the NHS and every local authority in the UK has pledged support to the Armed Forces Covenant there are clear implications for social work. In this context consideration was given to relevant theoretical and practice frameworks, cultural competency of the Armed Forces, and the role of Armed Forces charities with the aim of overcoming barriers to practice, reducing offending behaviour and achieving better outcomes for veterans and their families.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Social Work
Uncontrolled Keywords: veterans; Criminal Justice System; social work; cultural competence
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Social Work and Social Care
Student Research > Undergraduate
Depositing User: Wendy Ellison
Date Deposited: 05 May 2022 07:47
Last Modified: 05 May 2022 07:47
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/6263

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