Simon Hart MP has pledged to support Care after Combat, a charity working to help prisoner veterans to reintegrate into society.
Co-founded by comedian Jim Davidson in 2015, Care after Combat mentors veterans during the final eighteen months of their sentence to help them transition from prison to civilian life.
Over the past three years it has helped more than 300 incarcerated veterans in almost 30 prisons, reducing first year reoffending rates to only eight percent. This is compared to the 45 per cent reoffending rate in the wider prisoner population.
Mr Hart said: "We have a responsibility to look after the welfare of all our veterans and Care after Combat provides dedicated support for those least able to make this transition and who often fall into the prison system as a result. We must do everything we can do end this vicious cycle and I am pleased to pledge my support."
The charity is only able to reach 1 in 10 prisoner veterans and increased funding is urgently needed to roll out its services UK-wide and support all eligible veterans currently serving sentences.
It is estimated that there are currently 3,500 former servicemen incarcerated in England and Wales - the largest single occupational cohort within prisons – and one of the most vulnerable groups.
Speaking at the session, Jim Davidson OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Care after Combat said:
"I was really pleased to receive so much support and encouragement from MPs. At a time when our prison service is struggling to cope, Care after Combat could play a greater role to reduce reoffending and help former veterans by restoring the sense of stability and purpose which they enjoyed whilst serving in the Armed Forces.
"While we welcome the additional £10 million cash injection to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund to support mental health projects, we call on the Government to recognise the specific requirements of this group and increase funding for veteran prisoner community transition services."
Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
15, St John St
or 0207 219 3000