Plain Writing


Component Contacts | Annual Report

Welcome to Plain Writing at the U.S. Department of Justice!

We are committed to writing new documents in clear, useful and understandable language that members of the public can grasp on first reading.

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (PDF) requires federal agencies to write “clear Government communication that the public can understand and use.” Also, President Obama emphasized the importance of establishing “a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration” in his January 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

The Justice Department is using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines (PDF) in writing any new or substantially revised document that:

  • provides information about any of our services or benefits;
  • is needed to obtain any of our benefits or services; or
  • explains how to comply with any requirement that we administer or enforce.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael H. Allen, Justice Management Division, oversees our plain language efforts. Contact us by email:

If you find any document on our website that is difficult to understand, please send the title of the page and the exact URL to:

Component Contacts

In addition, some Department components have designated their own Plain Writing contacts, as follows:

Community Oriented Policing Services: Lashon Hilliard

Drug Enforcement Administration: June E. Howard, Strategic Planning & Executive Policy Section

Environment and Natural Resources Division: Jacob Castellaw 

Federal Bureau of Prisons: Terry Windsor, Chief, Office of Communication

Office of the Inspector General: Jennifer Maloney 

Office of Justice Programs: Chuck Wagner, Deputy Director for Public Affairs, and Teela Samuel, Human Resources Specialist for Professional Development

Office of Professional Responsibility: Lyn Hardy, Senior Counsel

Office of the Solicitor General and Office of Legal Counsel: Deborah C. Allen

Office on Violence Against Women: Cathy Poston, Attorney Advisor

U.S. Marshals Service: William Delaney  

Annual Report

Plain Writing Act of 2010 Implementation Annual Compliance Report

2016 | 2015 | 2014 (PDF) | 2013 (PDF) | 2012 (PDF)


Updated November 14, 2017

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