It’s a sometimes uncomfortable fact of life – you’re likely to be working with ex-offenders both inside and outside the military. So let’s be honest and smart about what we’re doing. The military has long been seen as the last great hope for some troubled juveniles and ex-offenders – if they can get in! At times, especially during war, the military services become big social experiments.
On the outside, over 50 million Americans have some sort of conviction on a record. Inside the military, you’ll increasingly encounter individuals with either troubled or not-so-hot backgrounds who, under normal circumstances, could never pass the recruitment bar.
In fact, times have changed since 2003. The military can no longer deal with behavioral problems by using the brig or just “tossing them out into the civilian world” since the services, especially the Army and Marines, are now activity recruiting ex-offenders with red flags and troubled backgrounds (see our companion Military, Veterans, and Ex-Offenders Kit).
While the military has long granted waivers for recruiting individuals with low aptitude scores, medical problems, and criminal records, most have been “moral waivers” – a program that allows individuals with criminal records, including convicted felons, to enter the Armed Forces.
Indeed, the Army granted more than 6,000 moral waivers in 2006 – up from 2,700 in 2003 – of which 901 were felony waivers (up from 411 in 2003). In 2006 alone, nearly 25 percent of all recruits required some type of waiver.
Overall, between 2003 and 2006, the military allowed more than 100,000 individuals (30,000+ each year) with troubled backgrounds to join their ranks. While such a policy may assist the services in meeting their recruitment targets, as well as help straighten out troubled lives, leadership and management also face a unique set of challenges, from training and discipline to workplace and public safety.
In the civilian world, hiring via moral waivers would be called “potentially costly hires,” complete with some serious liability issues. Here is the new reality we all face: The Armed Forces are recruiting more and more individuals with red flags and behavioral patterns that may be difficult to change. Is the leadership prepared for what comes next?
Thinking outside their normal institutional boxes, military leaders need to know and do certain things if they are to succeed with this challenging recruitment pool – from dealing with issues of anger, addiction, relapse, and personal responsibility to recognizing old behavior patterns, being trustworthy, and having a purpose in life. The following resources represent some of the best thinking and doing related to ex-offenders and changing behaviors.
For a fascinating collection of additional relevant resources on this and related subjects, see our specialty website for ex-offenders: www.exoffenderreentry.com.
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- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ($17.00)
- 12 Bad Habits That Hold Good People Back ($15.95)
- 17 Lies That Are Holding You Back and the Truth That Will Set You Free ($19.99)
- 52 Weeks of Esteemable Acts ($15.95)
- 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself ($11.95)
- The 8th Habit ($16.95)
- The Addictive Personality ($15.95)
- Angry All the Time ($17.95)
- Angry Men ($14.95)
- Angry Women ($14.95)
- Awaken the Giant Within ($17.99)
- Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life ($22.00)
- Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul ($14.95)
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies ($21.99)
- Delivered From Distraction ($17.00)
- Denial Is Not a River in Egypt ($13.95)
- Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life ($14.95)
- Gangbusters: Strategies for Prevention and Intervention ($25.00)
- Getting Help ($21.95)
- Healing is a Choice ($18.99)
- How to Get Sober and Stay Sober ($14.95)
- Overcoming Anxiety for Dummies ($21.99)
- Pathways to Peace: Anger Management Workbook ($31.95)
- The Power of Positive Thinking ($15.99)
- The Power of Purpose ($17.95)
- Rage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Explosive Anger ($16.95)
- Reinventing Your Life ($17.00)
- Sex, Drugs, Gambling, and Chocolate ($24.95)
- The Truth About Addiction and Recovery ($24.95)
- You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy? ($19.00)
- C.A.G.E. the Rage ($99.95)
- Changing Men: Unlearning the Behaviors of Domestic Violence ($169.95)
- Managing Anger and Rage: The Niagara Falls Metaphor ($99.95)