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Publication Veterans in Prison or Jail

Christopher J. Mumola, Bureau of Justice Statistics

January 18, 2000    NCJ 178888

Presents data from the 1997 Surveys of Inmates in Adult State and Federal Correctional Facilities and the 1996 Survey of Inmates in Local Jails concerning inmates' prior military service. Numeric tables present data on branch of military service, periods of wartime military service, combat duty, and type of military discharge. Tables include comparisons of veteran and nonveteran inmates' current offenses, criminal histories, sentence lengths, and basic demographics such as gender, race/Hispanic origin, and age. This BJS Special Report also presents numeric tables on inmates' reports of prior drug and alcohol abuse, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services, as well as various socioeconomic data, including employment and income at time of arrest, and prior experiences of homelessness.


  • 1 in 6 incarcerated veterans were dishonorably discharged from the military.
  • 1 in 5 veterans in prison or jail reported seeing combat duty during their military service.
  • In 1998, an estimated 56,500 Vietnam War-era veterans and 18,500 Persian Gulf War-era veterans were held in State and Federal prisons.

Part of the Veterans in State and Federal Prisons Series

Press Release (4K)
Full report (PDF 186K)
ASCII file (49K)
ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 41K)
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