How many prison officers are ex-military personnel? Estimating the proportion of Armed Forces leavers within the prison workforce of England and Wales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg


The prior employment history of prison officers has been overlooked within academic literatures and, in contrast with the prior military service of Veterans-in-Custody, the significance of their military experience has been almost completely disregarded. Since military service is known to be predictive of subsequent professional performance, this oversight, due in part to the lack of data, is potentially very significant in understanding the contribution made by ex-military personnel as prison staff. This paper presents novel empirical evidence from an online survey of UK prison officers suggesting that at least a quarter have military experience – a proportion which has fallen over time but still far exceeds the proportion of Veterans in the prisoner population. Based on these novel data, the paper suggests future avenues of research to address the many unanswered questions about whether and how military experience influences prison work.

Bibliographic note

Not yet published as of 13/09/2021.


Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Howard Journal of Criminal Justice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Jun 2021