A Hero's Welcome? Exploring the Prevalence and Problems of Military Veterans in the Arrestee Population

Michael White, Philip Mulvey, Andrew M. Fox, David Choate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The potential for veterans to end up in the criminal justice system as a result of physical and psychological problems that may be combat-related has generated much interest, illustrated most recently by the development of specialized veterans' courts. However, little is known about how often veterans are arrested and incarcerated, the nature of their problems, or the extent to which their military service has contributed to their criminality. Using interview data from 2,102 arrestees booked in Maricopa County (AZ) during 2009, this paper examines the problems and prior experiences of arrested military veterans and compares veteran and non-veteran arrestees along a range of measures. Results indicate that veterans comprise 6.3% of the arrestee population, and that more than 50% of veterans report suffering from at least one combat-related problem including physical injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other mental health problems, and substance abuse. Multivariate analysis indicates that veteran arrestees differ from non-veterans on a number of key measures, most notably more frequent arrests for violent offenses and greater use of crack cocaine and opiates. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for the potential link between military service and criminality as well as for criminal justice policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-286
Number of pages29
JournalJustice Quarterly
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Fingerprint

Veterans
Military
military service
Population
Criminality
Criminal Law
criminal justice policy
posttraumatic stress disorder
Opiate Alkaloids
multivariate analysis
substance abuse
Crack Cocaine
justice
mental health
offense
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Mental Health
interview
Multivariate Analysis

Keywords

  • combat-related problems and crime
  • military and crime
  • veterans and crime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

A Hero's Welcome? Exploring the Prevalence and Problems of Military Veterans in the Arrestee Population. / White, Michael; Mulvey, Philip; Fox, Andrew M.; Choate, David.

In: Justice Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 2, 04.2012, p. 258-286.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

White, Michael ; Mulvey, Philip ; Fox, Andrew M. ; Choate, David. / A Hero's Welcome? Exploring the Prevalence and Problems of Military Veterans in the Arrestee Population. In: Justice Quarterly. 2012 ; Vol. 29, No. 2. pp. 258-286.
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