A project designed to help veterans as they go through the criminal justice system in Wales has been awarded funding from the Armed Forces Covenant fund.
Support Transition of Military Personnel (SToMP) was developed to try to ensure veterans who enter the criminal justice system are consistently identified early on and can be guided towards those support services that help the ex-service community. The ultimate goal is to implement an inclusive, multi-agency approach to supporting ex-Armed Service Personnel (ex-ASPs) from arrest right through to their exit from the criminal justice system.
SToMP aims to recognise the contribution ex-Service Personnel have made in serving in our Armed Forces and to help rehabilitate them and reduce re-offending. Currently ex-Service personnel make up at least 3.5-5% of the overall prison community.
The project will be overseen by a new Project Manager who will ensure best practice is shared across Wales and that even if a veteran encounters the criminal justice system in the remotest part of Wales, he or she will have equal access to help and support from relevant organisations.
SToMP is creating a Prisoner Pathway, employing 2 new prison liaison officers to work within the establishments in Wales who will interview ex service personnel in custody and refer them to specialist support services in preparation for their release to meet their individual needs. They will work closely with Barnardo’s Veterans Family Support Service among others, helping not just the veteran but their families too.
The SToMP team plans to create a new directory of organisations and individuals who help to support ex-Service Personnel encountering the Welsh criminal justice system, which will be shared to ensure better ways of working together to help veterans.
The team will also act as the point of contact for services supporting ex service personnel, providing information through a network of ex-ASP Champions throughout the criminal justice system and the wider organisations involved through newsletters and intranets and a series of events.
In addition, the project plans to contribute to the current lack of research on what works to support ex ASPs within the criminal justice system and identify good practice in reducing the risk of reoffending amongst this group.
SToMP is an Integrated Offender Mangement (IOM) Cymru project, which is a partnership of organisations including National Probation Service, Wales Community Rehabilitation Company, Public sector prisons, Police, Welsh Government, Police and Crime Commissioners, and the voluntary sector.
More information on SToMP and the initiatives being carried out by the project will be published on the Veterans Today blog and in Veterans WORLD as it becomes available, so to receive more news as and when it comes up, why not sign up for email updates or add us to your RSS feed.