In May 2010, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz formed the Civil Rights Enforcement Team (CRET). CRET's primary goal is to develop comprehensive enforcement and outreach strategies to address civil rights issues in the District of Massachusetts.
CRET works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Massachusetts residents, particularly those of the most vulnerable members of our society. CRET enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, family status and national origin.
The Office partners with state and local law enforcement, community groups and advocates to increasing the Office's visibility and develop trust in the community. The partnerships are key to CRET's strategy and are instrumental in ensuring the Office is able to effectively deter and penalize those who commit civil rights violations.
CRET works with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to stop discrimination in housing, employment, education, credit, public accommodations, state and local government programs, and certain federally funded and conducted programs. In addition, CRET is responsible for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, damage to religious property, misconduct by police and other public officials, forced labor, sex trafficking of children, and criminal interference with persons obtaining reproductive health services.