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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Justice Department Announces 10 Additional Steps on the One-Year Anniversary of Executive Order 14074 on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety

To highlight the one-year anniversary of the May 25, 2022 Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety, three years after the murder of George Floyd, the Justice Department today is releasing a series of 10 new reports and guidance documents as part of its ongoing efforts to implement the Executive Order.

The steps being announced today include updated guidance prohibiting racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies, accreditation standards to encourage adoption of policies in the Executive Order by state, Tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) law enforcement agencies, a report on the Department’s efforts to implement the First Step Act, and guidance on officer wellness, investigating in-custody deaths, and responses to individuals in crisis, among others.

“While our work is not done, we are proud of the important changes we have made over this past year to update our internal policies and better provide our state and local partners with the resources and support they need to keep communities safe from violent crime, advance transparency, and build community trust,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.  “As we remember the life of George Floyd on the third anniversary of his death, the Justice Department renews our commitment to advancing accountability in law enforcement and safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans. We recognize that we have a responsibility to lead by example.”

Over the past year, the Department has worked tirelessly on more than 90 Executive Order steps, including robust and substantive engagement with stakeholders from civil rights, law enforcement, and community groups, as well as our federal agency partners.

“The Justice Department’s law enforcement partners are integral to our efforts to protect the American people from violent crime and a wide range of security threats,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Law enforcement officers are on the front lines every day, across the country, and they deserve our continued support as we work together to ensure equal justice for all. I am proud of the work the Department has done to implement the Executive Order, and in particular the priority it places on officer safety and mental health, to foster a culture of wellness within law enforcement agencies.”

“Public safety requires police-community trust and fair criminal justice policies. The Justice Department has worked hard over the last twelve months to implement the over 90 deliverables from Executive Order 14074, including a focus on mental health, use of force, data collection, officer wellness, reentry, and much more,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “In making progress in all these areas, we have relied on the extensive engagement of our law enforcement and civil rights partners every step of the way. We remain committed to using all of our tools to strengthen trust and build healthy and safe communities.”

In addition to the steps announced today, the Department’s work under the Executive Order includes prohibiting the transfer of or use of federal grant funds to purchase military-style weapons and equipment for STLT law enforcement agencies, awarding grants in a manner that supports and promotes the adoption of the Executive Order’s policies, and working to establish a National Law Enforcement Accountability Database.

All of this work is part of the Department’s abiding commitment to the Attorney General’s three co-equal priorities: upholding the rule of law, protecting civil rights, and keeping our country safe.

Overview of the Justice Department’s Implementation of Executive Order 14074

As part of an all-of-government strategy set forth in the May 2022 Executive Order, the Department is using all of its tools to advance public safety and build police-community trust, while advancing thoughtful, evidence-informed initiatives and reforms throughout the criminal justice system. As the Executive Order makes clear, system-wide change requires funding and support that only Congress can authorize. The mandates of the Executive Order apply only to federal law enforcement agencies.

  • To raise the standards of federal law enforcement agencies, the Executive Order requires all federal law enforcement agencies to adopt policies equivalent to the Department’s policies on using force, chokeholds and carotid restraints, no-knock entries, and proper body-worn camera use.
  • To promote adoption of the Executive Order’s policies by STLT law enforcement agencies and encourage best practices, the Department is awarding discretionary grants in a manner that supports and promotes adoption of the Order’s policies and has created first-of-their-kind accreditation standards to further encourage adoption. The Department, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services, also published guidance on best practices for responding to calls and interacting with persons in behavioral or mental health crisis or with a disability, and published a report on supporting officer wellness.
  • To improve conditions of confinement and promote better outcomes for individuals who are incarcerated or under supervision, the Department published a report on the use of restrictive housing in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and BOP’s efforts to reduce its use, a report outlining steps BOP and the U.S. Marshals Service are taking to improve conditions of confinement for individuals in their custody, and a report on the Department’s efforts to fully implement the First Step Act.
  • To improve data collection and analysis to help better inform the public, government leaders, and policymakers, the Department is providing training and technical assistance to federal and STLT law enforcement agencies to increase reporting to the FBI’s National Use-of-Force data collection program, the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) data collection program, the Death in Custody Report Act, and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
  • The Department, in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, updated the Guidance on the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies. The updated guidance prohibiting racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies sets forth limited circumstances when federal law enforcement agents or officers may consider a protected characteristic, adds disability as a protected characteristic, expands application of the guidance beyond law enforcement officers to all federal law enforcement personnel engaged in or supporting federal law enforcement activities, and sets benchmarks and timelines for the development and implementation of training, data collection, and accountability provisions.
  • Last month, the Department released a Strategic Plan outlining actions to safely reduce criminal justice system interactions, support rehabilitation during incarceration, and facilitate reentry for people with criminal records.

In the months and years to come, the Department will continue to operationalize and build upon its implementation of the Executive Order to keep communities safe, support law enforcement, and advance effective, fair policing.

The Department’s reports and guidance documents are available here.

The Department’s Fact Sheet on efforts to implement the Executive Order is available here.

Updated May 25, 2023