U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Death in Custody Reporting Act: State Convening Summary Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2023
7 pages

This document provides Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA) background; describes the legislation’s purpose and audience; reviews the state administering agencies’ meeting agenda on current and future implementation of DCRA; and discusses key takeaways and next steps.


This informative paper provides details about the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA), which requires states and territories that receive funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program to report to the Attorney General certain information regarding deaths of people who are detained, under arrest, or en route to correctional facilities such as jails or prisons. This document discusses the December 2022 DCRA State Convening, which hosted state administering agencies (SAAs) and stakeholders and sought to understand: structural, organizational, technical, and practical challenges to both determinations of deaths in custody, and operational reporting; challenges that SAAs encounter when collecting DCRA information from state and local agencies and reporting it to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA); and types of assistance and resources that SAAs need to improve reporting and engagement from state and local law enforcement agencies. Highlights from the key takeaways include: there is widespread commitment to reducing deaths in custody; imposing the 10 percent penalty on states will not reduce the barriers to collecting and reporting data; data collecting and reporting processes create challenges; there are overlapping federal reporting systems that create confusion, and states and localities would benefit from consolidation; there is a need for increased awareness of DCRA at the local level; and additional resources and supports are needed.