Under pressure to increase their numbers, the Army and Marine Corps are sharply raising the number of recruits with felony convictions they are admitting to the services.
Data released by a congressional committee shows that the number of soldiers admitted to the Army with felony records jumped from 249 in 2006 to 511 in 2007. And the number of Marines with felonies rose from 208 to 350.
The bulk of the crimes were for burglaries, other thefts, and drug offenses, but nine involved sex crimes and six involved manslaughter or vehicular homicide convictions.
Beau geste, anyone? But given our country’s method of using incarceration to solve our social problems, it’s hard to see the military has any alternative.