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National Institute of Justice Literature Review and Data Analysis on Deaths in Custody, Report to Congress

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2022
77 pages

This report is an initial step to respond to the study requirement mandated by The Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 (DCRA). DCRA requires states and federal law enforcement agencies to report to the Attorney General “information regarding the death of any person who is detained, under arrest, or is in the process of being arrested, is enroute to be incarcerated, or is incarcerated at a municipal or county jail, state prison, state-run boot camp prison, boot camp prison that is contracted out by the state, any state or local contract facility, or other local or state correctional facility (including any juvenile facility).” In addition, DCRA requires the Attorney General to conduct a study and submit a report to Congress using the information reported by the states and federal law enforcement agencies to “(A) determine means by which such information can be used to reduce the number of such deaths, and (B) examine the relationship, if any, between the number of such deaths and the actions of management of such jails, prisons, and other specified facilities relating to such deaths.”  The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is conducting research to respond to the DCRA study requirement. NIJ, in coordination with the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, has commissioned two studies that collectively will serve as the Department’s response. The two-study approach was undertaken for reasons tied to available data. This first study summarizes what is currently known from the research literature and available data on deaths in custody and provides the foundation for the additional information collection and analyses that will be undertaken as part of the broader second study and report.

Date Published: December 1, 2022