The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, created in 1957 by the enactment of the Civil Rights
Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the
most vulnerable members of our society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination
on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.
Former Puerto Rico Police Officers Jimmy Rodriguez Vega and David Colon Martinez were sentenced for civil rights and obstruction of justice violations related to the fatal beating of Jose Luis Irizarry Perez.
John Louis Blalack was sentenced for his role in a federal hate crime conspiracy involving racially motivated assaults, culminating in the death of James Craig Anderson, an African-American man, in the summer of 2011.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted the Justice Department's motion for summary judgment in United States v. Florida Department of Corrections, holding that the Department of Corrections' failure to provide a kosher diet violated RLUIPA.
The Departments of Justice and Education release joint civil rights guidance to schools on how to meet their obligations under federal civil rights law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin.