Navy personnel with in-service criminal records: characteristics of offenders and career implications
Lake, Miguel A.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
Flyer, Eli S.
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National attention has been focused on the criminal offenses of Navy members while on active duty. This is due to recent incidents such as the rape of a young woman in Okinawa and the discovery of a military drug ring in Europe. Little is known about the characteristics of individuals who engage in criminal activity while on active duty or the effects of a member's criminal acts on his or her retention in the naval service. This thesis seeks to gain information on the characteristics of in-service offenders and to assist in designing improved enlistment standards and/or improved retention criteria. The Navy Enlisted Cohort file was merged with a Navy Criminal Investigations Service (NCIS) data file of enlisted personnel with serious in-service criminal investigations. The merged files were used to compare two groups of enlisted personnel: persons with serious in-service criminal investigations and the population of enlisted personnel without serious in-service criminal records. The study found: (1) offenders are considerably more likely to be discharged for failure to meet minimum behavioral performance criteria than for the offenses they commit; and (2) current enlistment screening methods are not effective in identifying future in-service offenders. The study recommends that a consolidated database be developed to incorporate all information on in-service criminal activity. The database should include cases of Command Court Martial, detainment and arrest by Base Police, and cases adjudicated by civilian authorities as well as cases that are NCIS reportable.
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