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Veterans in Prison and Jail, 2011-12

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2015
1 page
Jennifer Bronson; E. Ann Carson; Margaret Noonan; Marcus Berzofsky
Publication Series
Publication Type
Statistics, Report (Summary), Factsheet
This summary of a report on veterans in prisons and jails for 2011-12 addresses the number; trends; demographic profile; military service; prior arrests, current offense, and sentencing; and mental health problems.
An estimated 181,500 veterans were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails in 2011-12, which constituted 8 percent of all inmates. This was a 9-percent decrease from 2004. In 2011-12, incarcerated veterans were more likely than non-veterans to be White, older, more educated, and to have been married. Approximately two-thirds of incarcerated veterans in 2011-12 were discharged from military service between 1974 and 2000. Most veterans in prisons (75 percent) and jails (44 percent) reported they did not experience combat while in the military Most served for less than 3 years. Veterans in prison in 2011-12 reported fewer prior arrests than non-veterans. A higher percentage of incarcerated veterans were convicted for a violent sexual offense compared to non-veterans, and the sentences of veterans tended to be longer than those of non-veterans. A higher percentage of veterans in jails reported that a mental health professional told them they had a mental health disorder at some point in their lives, compared with non-veterans. Slightly less than half the veterans in prisons were told this. 1 figure
Date Created: December 7, 2015