JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
Summer is here, and if the recent temperature spike wasn’t enough to herald its arrival, the increased presence of children on base, freshly sprung from school, is another clue.
Juvenile dependents with more free time and less supervision can lead to a unique summer challenge for the installation’s security forces.
“Although we enjoy a very low crime rate in comparison to our surrounding communities, we do experience spikes in crime during the summer months,” said Lt. Col. Timothy McCarty, 633rd Security Forces Squadron commander. ”Statistics show time and again, that when schools let out for the summer, juveniles tend to commit more offenses.”
In general, juvenile dependent misconduct on the installation can fall into a legal ‘no man’s land.’ Their actions do not fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and local Magistrate Court programs handle misconduct committed by adult civilians. Which is why Col. Sean Tyler, the 633rd Air Base Wing commander, implemented the Juvenile Intervention/Support Program here.
“The purpose of the JISP is to preserve good order and discipline, and protect people and property on Joint Base Langley-Eustis,” said Capt. Whitney Howe-Mendoza, 633 ABW chief of law and the JISP architect. “It is meant to standardize disciplinary/remedial services to and procedures for dealing with on-base juvenile misconduct.”
Howe-Mendoza modelled JBLE’s JISP after a successful program at Kadena Air Force Base, Japan. These programs are not standardized across the Air Force or Department of Defense, but other installations have adopted them with similar goals.
“The JISP programs have proven successful in many communities. For that reason, security forces wholeheartedly supports JISP by encouraging youths and young adults from engaging in risky, criminal or negative behaviors,” McCarty said.
Dependent juveniles at JBLE caught engaging in criminal conduct on the installation can voluntarily appear at a JISP hearing to demonstrate their willingness to reform their behavior. Failure to correct such behaviors could lead to debarment. Possible outcomes from a JISP hearing include community service, a curfew for juveniles living in base housing, suspended driving privileges, or a verbal or written reprimand from the hearing officer.
JISP hearings bring together the service member, their dependent, unit chain of command, and applicable family services to address the misconduct while attempting to rehabilitate the juvenile.
“If we can help juveniles see the error in their ways and help them get back on track before they turn 18 years old, we might be able to help them avoid the consequences of adult, civilian criminal convictions,” Howe-Mendoza said.
To learn more about the JISP contact the installation legal department at (757)-764-3277.