United Kingdom: The Violent Military Veteran Offender in the Criminal Justice System: Desisting from Crime or Desisting from Military Experience?

  • Justin MoorheadEmail author
Part of the International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice book series (IPSPAP)


Moorhead outlines here how, in the United Kingdom, issues of veterans’ transition were propelled into the political spotlight in 2008 when it was reported military veterans accounted for 20% of those involved in Britain’s criminal justice system. Since that time, the evolving response has seen a significant rise in the numbers and varieties of stakeholders entering the veterans’ transition sector. These changes in landscape mean that those contending to increase political influence and/or increasingly marketised resources ultimately contribute to and shape the dissonant and problematic construction of the contemporary UK veteran as simultaneously represented as hero and villain in UK public discourse. Moorhead’s chapter provides qualitative life course interview data from violent veterans embroiled in the UK criminal justice system, presented through the criminological theoretical framework of desistance. These veterans’ voices afford a more nuanced and subjective understanding of the impact of cultural distinctions between military and civilian contexts which can prove significant barriers to the development of a coherent and prosocial identity for this cohort on return to civilian life.


Offending  Alcohol  Punishment  Violence  Culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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