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Fourth of prison inmates are military vets, US says

About a quarter of all inmates in state prisons in late 1979 were armed forces veterans, including 13,000 who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam war, a Justice Department study says.

In total, there were 65,500 veterans in state prisons, including 39,500 from the Vietnam era - 13,000 of them actually having served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam war.

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At the time of the offense for which they were sentenced, more than a quarter were under the influence of drugs and more than half had been drinking.

The special study, by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, was ordered by a 1978 presidential directive to collect information on veterans serving time.