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Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

OCR ensures that recipients of financial assistance from OJP, OVW, and COPS comply with Federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and delivery of services or benefits based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, and disability.
About OCR
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Partnerships with Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations

Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal government.   The documents below constitute examples of guidance from the President and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that outline the protections provided in law for faith-based or religious organizations.

The guidance establishes several important principles, including:

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs enforces the DOJ regulation “Partnerships with Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations,” found at 28 C.F. R. Part 38, which prohibits the type of discrimination described above.  Any faith-based or religious organization that believes it has been discriminated against by a DOJ grantee regarding a subaward may submit a complaint to the OCR.  The OCR recommends including the following information when filing your complaint:

  1. Your name and contact information, including a phone number and email address, if available;
  2. The name and address of the faith-based or religious organization subject to the alleged discrimination;
  3. The name and address of the entity that allegedly discriminated;
  4. The exact date when the alleged discrimination took place or was discovered;
  5. A detailed description of the alleged discrimination and why you believe it was based on religion;
  6. A list of any people whom we might contact for additional information to support or clarify your complaint; and
  7. Copies of records or other documentary evidence.

Potential complainants are encouraged to review the documents above, including the FAQ on 28 C.F.R. Part 38, and can find more information about filing a complaint in the OCR’s FAQ.  Complaints should be submitted to the Office for Civil Rights at:

   Office for Civil Rights
   Office of Justice Programs
   U.S. Department of Justice
   810 Seventh Street NW
   Washington, DC 20531


The statutory and regulatory information contained on this page does not constitute legal advice and is for general informational purposes only. The OCR makes no guarantee that the statutory authority or regulatory code citied within is the most current version of said law/regulation. For more recent versions of the U.S. Code and the CFR, users should consult the official revised U.S.C. or the eCFR.

Date Created: June 2, 2023