I found this whilst researching a similar subject for a project I'm involved in, and thought what "post Afghanistan, Gulf" might hold in store? PTSD - A soldier's tale Recent estimates put the number of ex-servicemen in prison at around 8,500. One of them, Jimmy Johnson, talks candidly about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the hidden factor that helped put him there I served in a Royal Regiment for ten years and was involved in two conflicts: Aden in 1965 and Northern Ireland in 1972. I was discharged from the army with an exemplary record and was highly decorated for my services in Northern Ireland. I even got a mention in Dispatches! But in 1974 I was charged with murder, to which I pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. I served a total of nine years and on release, about 18 months later, I killed another man. I pleaded guilty and was again given a life sentence, of which I have so far served 24 years. It was only while serving my life sentence that I discovered I was unknowingly suffering from combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of my action in Northern Ireland, which I had no idea about at the time of my trial. PTSD isnâ€™t used as a mitigating circumstance in trials, mainly because people standing trial arenâ€™t tested for it. Unless a lawyer puts it in front of a judge it just isnâ€™t thought of. The authorities seem to have a very convenient ignorance-is-bliss policy towards combat-related PTSD in the prison system because, hey, if thereâ€™s no official way to diagnose it then â€˜who caresâ€™? My discovery led to the realisation that many other ex-soldiers in the prison population might have PTSD but have never been checked for it. The Government are paying around Â£340 million of taxpayersâ€™ money per year to keep 8,500 former troops/veterans in the prison population without even treating them for combat-related PTSD. Itâ€™s better and cheaper [for them] to keep quiet. All inmates in the prison system have to complete a Prison Servicesâ€™ Rehabilitation Programme which is focused on â€˜Offending Behaviourâ€™ courses, which are (supposedly) designed to lower the risk of prisoners reoffending. However, if you are a veteran unknowingly suffering combat-related PTSD you will, like me, pass through all these offending behaviour courses without knowing about PTSD and the reason why you came into prison in the first place. I started to campaign while in prison for PTSD to be something that should be looked at whenever veterans are on trial because Iâ€™m angry that it was completely ignored for me. It has been confirmed now that my PTSD played a part in the crimes I committed so I feel like the outcome could have been very different. â€¢ Jimmy Johnson was talking to Cathy Reay â€¢â€¢ Veterans in Prison has published a survival guide for combat-related PTSD in prison, which can be viewed at www.vetsinprison.org.uk Comments, Views anyone?