US military recruits more ex-cons
The US Army and Marine Corps recruited significantly more people with criminal records last year than in 2006, amid pressure to meet combat needs.
Statistics released by a congressional committee show 861 people were granted waivers to enlist, up from 457 in 2007.
The crimes included assault, sex crimes, manslaughter and burglary.
The Army says waivers are only granted after careful review and are in response to the challenges of recruiting in a changing society.
The number of people granted waivers are just a small fraction of the more than 180,000 people who entered active duty in the armed forces during the fiscal year that ended in September 2007.
But the perceived lowering of standards is causing concern in some quarters.