Members of Congress have vowed to make the armed services stop paying murderers, rapists, child molesters and other criminals in military jails and prisons.

"I will redress this problem and deny all these people the money," said U.S. Rep. Robert Dornan of California, a senior Republican member on the House National Security Committee and possible chair of the subcommittee on military personnel."It's so outrageous. This is just the kind of thing I'm looking for as the House chairman of one of the military subcommittees. . . . It's going to become one of my major projects."

Dornan said he planned to hold hearings next year, but didn't expect any opposition from other members. "The hearings will be very short," he said.

Dornan's comments, and those from other members of Congress, followed a series published in the Dayton Daily News, a Cox newspaper, on Sunday and Monday. The paper's examination of the little-known military practice found that in just one month, June, the military paid more than $1 million to at least 665 prisoners - many of them convicted of serious crimes, including murder, rape and child molestation.

The examination also found that while the military paid criminals, it sometimes gave their victims nothing. In one case, the Air Force paid a lieutenant colonel $148,616 after he confessed to molesting a 4-year-old girl in the basement of a Dayton, Ohio, church, but the military didn't give the girl a dime to help pay her counseling bills.

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"One of the things we should look at is how we compensate victims," said Senator-elect Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, a former Greene County prosecutor.

"It's absolutely absurd. It's my intent to introduce legislation . . . I'm serious."

U.S. Rep. Tony P. Hall, D-Ohio, said if the military doesn't stop the payments, Congress should.

"It doesn't make any sense to pay military members for a job they aren't doing because they are in jail," Hall said.

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