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Veterans and Criminal Justice: Trauma and Robbery and Theft

As we’ve traveled through this series, we’ve highlighted the relationships between United States military veterans and criminal justice. While veterans are not disproportionately impacted by crime, there are unique challenges that veterans experience that can lead to them being vulnerable to involvement in robbery or theft.


For example, veterans who have PTSD are 60% more likely to be involved with the criminal justice system than those who do not have PTSD. These vulnerable members of society went above and beyond to serve their country, and they return home without the support that they need to cope with day-to-day life. While only 7% of the general population served in the military, almost 13% of homeless adults are veterans.


Factors like those listed above can compound and lead to veterans engaging in activities like robbery and theft. Veterans deserve fair representation that will allow them to receive the help that they need, not just a punishment. What should you know about veterans, their trauma, and theft?


Veterans and Criminal Justice: Trauma and Robbery and Theft


The Connection Between PTSD and Violent Crime


Based on research on veterans and criminal justice, there is a link between PTSD and violent offenses. Some of these offenses include things like physical assault, sexual assault or rape, and robbery using a firearm. This may be due to the link between PTSD symptoms and increased aggression. One study found that 33% of veterans surveyed with PTSD had committed at least one act of aggression or violence in their community. The lack of support that many veterans have for PTSD can lead to unchecked aggression and violence that leaves them confused and feeling unlike themselves. 


Veterans and Robbery and Theft


29% of the veterans in prison are there for committing violent crimes, which can include robbery and burglary. There are many reasons why veterans may turn to property crime, including untreated PTSD and depression symptoms, feelings of anger, and a lack of resources. Many of the veterans who engage in burglary do not wish to be doing so, they are simply feeling desperate and without resources.


Unfortunately, the same veterans that are coping with PTSD and substance abuse issues often struggle to find quality legal assistance. All veterans should be able to access exceptional representation that can help them get the help that they need, not a prison sentence. Evidence indicates that receiving treatment for mental health disorders and substance abuse can reduce criminal activity in veterans, and the right attorney can help put you on the path to healing, not the path to continued destruction.


Partner with Atkinson Law. We’ll Take Care of You Like Family


At Atkinson Law, we listen to all our clients and protect their interests so they can receive a positive legal outcome.  We’ll work with you and give you the best possible recommendation for your future. To learn more about veterans and criminal justice, contact us today by calling (410) 882-9595 or visiting our website.