The Judicial Proceedings Panel has published a report on Restitution and Compensation for Military Adult Sexual Assault Crimes. The report is available here.

The report makes six recommendations (numbered recommendations 12-17 because they add to the eleven recommendations made in the JPP’s initial report published a year ago):

Recommendation 12: The Department of Defense establish a new, uniform program that provides compensation for unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses of victims of sexual assault crimes committed by Service members.

Recommendation 13: Congress not amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to add restitution as an authorized punishment that may be adjudged at courts-martial.

Recommendation 14: The military Services provide recurring training to trial practitioners and victim assistance personnel on the availability and use of restitution in pretrial agreements between the government and the accused.

Recommendation 15: The President enact the Department of Defense’s recently proposed executive order to modify Rule for Courts-Martial 705(d)(3) to provide victims the right to be heard before a convening authority enters into a pretrial agreement.

Recommendation 16: Congress not amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to direct that the forfeited wages of incarcerated members of the Armed Forces be used to pay compensation to victims of sexual assault crimes committed by Service members.

Recommendation 17: Congress not amend Article 139 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to include bodily harm among the injuries meriting compensation for redress.

13 Responses to “Judicial Proceedings Panel publishes report on Restitution and Compensation for Military Adult Sexual Assault Crimes”

  1. President Camacho says:

    Incentivizing being a victim in the military is not something that should be encouraged even more. There are already enough incentives: move to an installation of choice, high level of disability pay later, free pass on crimes committed, let out of performing work – no wonder there are so many acquittals – if restitution is allowed, there will be another spike in complaints and more wrongful convictions and, hopefully, acquittals.

  2. k fischer says:

    I predict a rise in false allegations after Husband Service members serve their BPD spouses with divorce papers.

  3. Tami a/k/a Princess Leia says:

    Of course no one addresses the elephant in the room–how are we going to pay for this?  Are we going to pull more money away from Servicemembers’ paychecks to fund this program?  Aren’t we broke already?  Take a hint from the states whose compensation programs went bankrupt.  Where are the states getting their money from?  Oh, that’s right, us.

  4. Ed says:

    What about our mission Protecting the country. Fighting foreign wars. Heck maybe there should be an extra 30 days leave for for anyone making a complaint. Add that to parental leave and regular leave.

  5. RY says:

    Where does the money come from?  Well, let’s see…we’ve experienced major personnel cuts, seen more and more reductions in our regular benefits (e.g., BAH no longer covers 100% of housing costs), and seen four consecutive years (I believe) of meager 1.3-1.6% annual pay increases, well below the rate of inflation so that DOD could save on personnel costs. 

  6. DCGoneGalt says:

    How about taking some percentage of the forfeitures (adjudged or automatic) of those convicted of sexual assault and diverting it into a sexual assault victims compensation fund?  I would only make the funds available to those who are victims of a claim that results in a conviction.  That would undeniably create an incentive for victims to push their claims to trial (fodder for cross, perhaps) but it would also serve as a QC measure of who gets the compensation (too high a bar, perhaps).
     
    I don’t like the idea of singling out a single class of victims (sexual assault v aggravated assault/robbery/etc.) but if it happens I think the funding scenario above would be fair.

  7. Phil Stackhouse says:

    I expected this was coming.  I haven’t read the hyperlinks yet, but restitution is mandatory in Title 18 cases – to, among others, sex  assault victims – even the victims of Child Pornography when the crime is possession.  In federal court, the money comes from the “convicted” person, but the government.   

  8. k fischer says:

    Now that I read this a little more, most of these are recommendations against the recommendation.
     
    Hey, I have a great recommendation.  How about the DoD creates a “Conviction Integrity Unit” to look at these convictions? 
     
    http://www.guns.com/2016/02/04/2015-sees-record-breaking-number-of-exonerations/
     
    Or, better yet, we need a “Prosecution Integrity Unit” to study acquittals and how the case never should have been brought to trial to weed out SVP’s who (1) don’t believe the victim, but are politically driven like Mike Nifong to continue with the prosecution, or (2) believe the victim and are not competent to practice law. 

  9. President Camacho says:

    If Gillibrandt or McCaskill catch wind that we don’t have “victim” compensation in DoD, we soon will.  Combine all of these benefits and full integration of combat units and, well, the JAG Corps branches of each service will be hiring more lawyers.  They should probably focus on attorneys who had trouble passing the ethics exam the first few times for the SVP slots.

  10. Lieber says:

    I’m not a fan of this but complaints about cost are dumb. (Peanuts in the context of the DoD budget.)   As for pay increases, we’ve received more than most Americans. And inflation has been close to nonexistent over the past decade. Arguably deflationary. 
    Just being pedantic  
    http://xkcd.com/386/

  11. RY says:

    Cost complaints are dumb?  Are you kidding me?  We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on SAPR (FY2015 Omnibus bill gave $257 million for SAPR programs, and an additional $25 million to continue the expansion of SVC/VLC programs to all of the services).  But there’s more…we’ve had big spikes in courts-martial for sex cases, many of which should not have gone to trial.  It’s not uncommon for the cases to costs as much as $100,000 for all of the experts (toxicologist, psychologists, DNA, SANE experts, etc). for both sides plus travel costs for witnesses, and not including the 1,000s of manhours between prosecution and defense.  So on top of that we are going to add a compensation program for the 20,000+ alleged victims, i.e., free money for a program that assumes every allegation is true and it doesn’t require any meaningful validation or cooperation with prosecution.  Perhaps more importantly, we still do not have any compensation (and it hasn’t even been mentioned) for the wrongly accused or wrongly convicted.  At least the wrongly convicted get some compensation in the civilian world. 
     
    True, this program may costs millions but be chump change for the larger budget but that doesn’t mean costs are dumb, especially when benefits for the rest of the military are shrinking.  Consider this: During the Obama administration, the average annual pay increase has been lower than any time since at least 1970—even assuming that Congress approves the 1.3 percent pay raise for next year. – See more at: http://www.fedsmith.com/2015/02/08/pay-raises-inflation-and-the-federal-workforce/#sthash.P5uqkOLx.dpuf
    My point is simple – we keep piling benefits for one category while we shrink them for ever other category.  There needs to be better balance. We would all love more…you just have to allege victimization to get it today. 

  12. President Comacho says:

    well when your experts at SAPR are out buying t-shirts, workout jackets, and other clothing with the SHARP logo, food, and many more impermissible purchases, the costs add up. How there hasn’t been an ADA investigation/ report I will never know. I’ve seen 10s of thousands of improper purchases at a few installations- I imagine it goes on everywhere since SHARP positions are the new EO: verry little work, Cush job, easy promotion and competence is nice but not required. I wish DOD would have hired some experts rather than choose the usual crop of vets and current civilian employees who go to a course for a few weeks and learn just enough to poison the future panels with their version of the facts
     
    not that I have any opinions on the matter

  13. k fischer says:

    When I read the title to this article, I thought it might be an expose on military sexual assault, which was the Google search string I entered into Google News last 24 hours.  Rather, it was a story about some poor schlep who was actually tried by a jury who took a mere 90 minutes to acquit him of sexually penetrating with his fingers a 60 year old woman in a train station where video shows him with his right hand clutching his handbag and his left hand holding a newspaper.  The writer deemed the prosecutor incompetent because the case actually got before a jury where video showed his innocence.
     
    Thankfully, I have only had one sex case like that recently (within the past 5 years).  I’ve had other acquittals, but nothing like the case about the CPS.  But, my feelings about the case to which I refer are so similar to the writer of this article.  I’m sure there are others like my case where you had to enter the Twilight Zone to understand why the SVP was arguing on closing that your client was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.