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Press Release

Justice Department Releases Report on Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department released a comprehensive report today that provides an overview of the Civil Rights Division’s police reform work under Section 14141 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

The report, “The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present,” is designed to serve as a resource for local law enforcement agencies and communities by making the division’s police reform work more accessible and transparent.  It examines a range of topics, including the history and purpose of Section 14141, initiation and methodology of pattern-or-practice investigations, negotiation of reform agreements, the current reform model and its rationale, conclusion of agreements and the impact of pattern-or-practice enforcement on police reform and community-police trust.  To supplement the report, the division also published an interactive Police Reform Finder, which allows users to search how reform agreements have addressed specific kinds of policing issues.

“Over the years, countless law enforcement officials and community members have requested additional information about the Civil Rights Division’s policing work,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division.  “We hope stakeholders find our report and interactive tool useful in our collective efforts to advance constitutional policing, strengthen police-community trust and promote officer and public safety.”

Since 2009, the Civil Rights Division has opened 25 investigations into law enforcement agencies and is currently enforcing 19 agreements, including 14 consent decrees and one post-judgment order. 

Police Reform Report

Police Reform Finder

Updated January 4, 2017

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 17-003