We regularly receive phone calls from concerned service members with questions about the Family Advocacy Program and Central Registry Board. I received another one today and decided to update our page with some frequently asked questions. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions:
1. I received notification of a Central Registry Board Incident Determination, what is that?
Generally speaking, the Central Registry Board is a method that the Department of Defense uses to collect data about domestic abuse (including sexual assault). Here is a link to the Department of Defense Instruction.
The boards are implemented through each base Family Advocacy Program. The members usually consist of senior uniformed leaders on the installation, legal advisors, law enforcement representation, and family advocacy representatives. There job is to review cases of alleged maltreatment. They determine whether the allegation is "met" or "did not meet" the criteria for maltreatment. They also recommended a treatment plan for the accused member.
2. Should I cooperate or provide information?
That really depends. It's a serious question that requires a consult. Most of the time, service members facing a CRB determination are also facing potential criminal / UCMJ action. In that regard, you may not want to provide information to the board. There usually is not much incentive to cooperate, but most law firms would need more information before making a recommendation.
3. Will the determination affect my career?
A CRB determination will probably not have any damaging affect on your career. If it's clearly unfounded, you may want to appeal. For the most part, by the time the CRB meets the command has already made decisions about whether to dispose of the case under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
4. How long will the process take?
Your guess is as good as ours. The process can drag on depending on when the board members meet, the flow of information from law enforcement and social services, and the willingness of family members to cooperate.