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“Military Service and Lifetime Arrests” the Article by Brooke and Gau Essay

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2021


Service in the army is an essential civil duty, which, nevertheless, is fraught with some severe consequences. As practice shows, veterans are prone to alcohol abuse, antisocial behavior, mental disorders, and other manifestations of dangerous service outcomes. In order to trace the relationship between the lifetime arrests of former military personnel and their experience and the consequences for criminal justice policies, the academic article “Military Service and Lifetime Arrests: Examining the Effects of the Total Military Experience on Arrests in a Sample of Prison Inmates” by Brooke and Gau (2018) will be analyzed.

The purpose of the article is “to examine the possible effects of various elements of the military experience on veterans’ lifetime arrests” (Brooke & Gau, 2018, p. 25). To accomplish this goal, a survey-data method was used. The information was collected through interviews with the inmates of American prisons, and their background, including family history, personal characteristics, health indicators, and other variables, was examined. Further, the data collected were presented in tables as a percentage. Therefore, the research method is mixed (qualitative and quantitative). The results provided an opportunity to obtain comprehensive information that could be useful in assessing and compiling the comprehensive picture of the results. Two stages of interpretation were involved, and “the first stage used the full sample of inmates to test for the possible impact of military service on lifetime arrests” (Brooke & Gau, 2018, p. 32). At the second stage, only prisoners with military experience were considered. This technique helped to exclude potential non-essential causes and highlight the most important factors.

As evidence of the results obtained, the authors of the study presented tables where the information taken from the surveys was included (Brooke & Gau, 2018). The distinction was made in accordance with “the descriptive characteristics of the full sample, the military subsample, and the non-military subsample” (Brooke & Gau, 2018, p. 32). The result contributed to tracing the relationship among many components of the evaluation criteria – age, sex, race, the terms of service in the army, and other factors. The interpretation of all the information was carried out in percentages.

According to the information received, the authors claim that the literature they used did not give unequivocal answers regarding the question posed, namely, the influence of military service on the number of criminal cases (Brooke & Gau, 2018). Nevertheless, some data were interpreted by comparing the responses and composing the proportions. As Brooke and Gau (2018) note, the duration of military service is a key factor determining the number of lifetime arrests. However, “the remaining elements of service (age of entry, combat exposure, branch type, and discharge status) fell short of statistical significance, and thus appeared to have no impact” (Brooke & Gau, 2018, p. 36). The research conducted certainly presented new factual information on this topic and made a significant contribution to the consideration of this issue since essential information might be useful for the criminal law system. The interpretations are at odds with other authors’ conclusions because many academic works do not provide answers to the question concerning the influence of military service on the number of lifetime arrests among veterans. Therefore, the value and practical significance of this study are valid and confirmed by actual results.

The Authors’ Research Evaluation

Introduction Analysis

The objective of the study is to find the relationship between service in the army and the number of arrests in veterans. Also, there is a goal to conduct a comparative analysis and determine which criteria are the most significant in assessing the criminal cases of military and civilians. The title of the paper conveys its essence completely and allows the reader to understand what the research is about and what topics will be affected. The goal presented in the abstract coincides with the one given in the introduction. The sequence of sentences in the introductory part is logical and leads to the purpose of the study. Thus, the introduction corresponds to the principles of academic work and conveys the main idea of ​​the article.

Methods Analysis

From the point of view of the research objectives, the methodology chosen is valid and allows implementation of the tasks set. The authors use a mixed analysis principle, applying both qualitative (surveys) and quantitative (statistical reports and figures) approaches (Brooke & Gau, 2018). No ethical principles were violated in the data collection process and analysis since the information was obtained with the consent of the respondents, and all the results were submitted anonymously. The mixed-method used is appropriate and relevant because it is important to not only receive people’s opinions but also to demonstrate the results obtained visually to evaluate all the criteria in a quantitative ratio. The study can be duplicated from the methods and information given.

The design of this research is appropriate and perhaps the only correct one. The sample selection is adequate and corresponds to the purpose of the paper. For example, Breen and Johnson (2018) also use reports in the form of tables displaying information about veterans, criminal cases, and the main factors that need to be taken into account. In the methods section of the article under consideration, the sequence of sentences is logical, and all the information presented is relevant to this chapter. The data are relevant, which is another strength. One of the few weaknesses is probably the lack of a clear justification for the reason for choosing a specific methodology. Nevertheless, the application of this approach is theoretically grounded and logical.

Results Analysis

When evaluating visual analysis tools, all the data presented in the table titles of the article convey their content comprehensively and reflect the information that is claimed for assessment. All column headings are listed in accordance with the purpose of the study, and the data for comparison are strictly delineated for ease of interpretation. A similar design is presented in the paper by Logan and Pare (2017), where the authors also resort to comparative analysis and include different evaluation criteria. In the article by Brooke and Gau (2018), the text is the complement and explanation of the information in the tables but not just its duplication. There is no discrepancy between the facts given, and each data type is meaningful and valuable.

All calculations and data representation is accurate, and no errors are allowed. One of the strengths is the explanation of those figures that may be incomprehensible to readers. However, each of the table graphs has designations, which simplifies the task. All the results reflect what Brooke and Gau (2018) sought to reflect in their work. Moreover, there is an appendix where valuable data are also given to supplement the study. Regarding visual means of information display, there are no weaknesses or ambiguous calculations.

Discussion Analysis

The interpretation of results is not the repetition of the above facts. It introduces new information that can be useful for complex analysis. The logic of all reasoning is justified, and no far-fetched facts are presented. Brooke and Gau (2018) give a detailed assessment of their findings and divide the topics into categories, analyzing the relevant facts consistently. Potentially ambiguous nuances are commented on and discussed. For example, the authors claim that some of the data obtained confirm previous research and insist that “the military may act as a buffer against (serious) criminal involvement” (Brooke & Gau, 2018, p. 36). No shortcomings or other omissions are found.

Many other research papers are cited as the sources of citation. Unlike Teachman and Tedrow (2016), who have a similar study, Brooke and Gau (2018) do not just mention the ideas of other authors but argue that many previous articles were not full of facts and justifications. It allows saying that not only borrowing is used but also the analysis of the existing theoretical basis. Some facts are new and have no confirmation from other authors. Brooke and Gau (2018) pay attention to different papers and give their positions concerning the findings of colleagues. At the same time, there are other research directions. The authors themselves remark that there is an opportunity to explore the benefits that military service gives and not only negative consequences and criminal outcomes (Brooke & Gau, 2018). Therefore, the value of this article is significant.

Overview Analysis

The abstract of the paper sums up the article partially, and it does not give a comprehensive picture of the findings and results. However, the information presented brings the reader to the study’s purpose and helps to understand the essence of the work done. All submitted materials are organized under the appropriate headings, and logic is present in the division of the article into sections. The paragraphs are convenient for reading, unlike, for example, the article by Snowden, Oh, Salas-Wright, Vaughn, and King (2017) and devoted to military service and crime, where large structural parts are not easy to perceive.

When talking about the style of the text, the article displays all the arguments consistently and correctly, without violating the corresponding vocabulary, and does not abound in complex phrases. Logic, clarity, and the economy of expression are present in the paper. At the same time, the ideas are sufficiently developed for the comprehensive disclosure of the topic. It is one of the strengths of this study, which distinguishes it from many other works on this theme.

Impact of the Research

The impact of the study is significant from both the social and the theoretical points of view. The topic of Brooke and Gau (2018) is aimed at not only studying the percentage of arrests among military service veterans but also reviewing the policy of the criminal law in relation to this problem. Therefore, the findings may be useful for defining benchmarks concerning the topic and using the results as a tool for assessing the prospects for the work of law enforcement agencies. Moreover, from the theoretical point of view, the article supplements the existing base of scientific works on this theme and contributes to the number of other authors’ findings. For instance, Brayne (2014) argues that criminal justice for the veterans of military operations is determined by numerous criteria and the background of the accused. However, Brooke and Gau (2018) note that additional factors should also be taken into account “for enhancing the lifetime success of returning military veterans” (p. 38). Therefore, this article presents valuable information that influences the attitude toward the military and largely determines the nature of punishment for those of them who have transgressed the law.


The analysis of the article under consideration makes it possible to evaluate the findings and determine their significance for different spheres. According to other researchers, this topic is relevant and should be discussed in various contexts. The results obtained can become the source of new ideas and hypotheses, for example, the effect of military service length on antisocial behavior manifested by veterans. All interpretations are explained and considered both in the text and in the tables, and there are no claims and refutations from other researchers.

From the point of view of human knowledge, the article is a contribution to the criminal justice system and gives a new look at the problem of punishment of former military personnel. No practical applications have been made, and all information has a theoretical basis not confirmed by tests. The study’s social consequences may include the possibility of normal interaction of former military personnel with civilians by the appropriate settlement of the criminal penal system. Technological outcomes are insignificant and can consist of replenishing the database of inmates with additional criteria for assessing their way of life. Political implications are essential since the introduction of changes can be ratified at the state level, and the authorities as stakeholders may be involved. Finally, medical outcomes are that the health indicators of the population under consideration can be improved by reducing the level of harmful addictions (excessive alcohol consumption, mental disorders, and other manifestations). On the whole, the significance of the study may be assessed as high since important findings have been made, and changes in the current legislation can be introduced based on the results of the work done.


Brayne, S. (2014). Surveillance and system avoidance: Criminal justice contact and institutional attachment. American Sociological Review, 79(3), 367-391. Web.

Breen, P. D., & Johnson, B. D. (2018). Military justice: Case processing and sentencing decisions in America’s “other” criminal courts. Justice Quarterly, 35(4), 639-669. Web.

Brooke, E. J., & Gau, J. M. (2018). Military service and lifetime arrests: Examining the effects of the total military experience on arrests in a sample of prison inmates. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 29(1), 24-44. Web.

Logan, M. W., & Pare, P. P. (2017). Are inmates with military backgrounds “army strong?” Criminal Justice Policy Review, 28(8), 814-841. Web.

Snowden, D. L., Oh, S., Salas-Wright, C. P., Vaughn, M. G., & King, E. (2017). Military service and crime: New evidence. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 52(5), 605-615. Web.

Teachman, J., & Tedrow, L. (2016). Altering the life course: Military service and contact with the criminal justice system. Social Science Research, 60, 74-87. Web.

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