The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday thousands of prosecutors and law enforcement officials will receive special training to keep them from being accidentally biased because of race, gender and a host of other factors.
The DOJ said about 23,000 agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, US Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will undergo the Implicit Bias Training Program to create a “strong and fair” DOJ. About 5,800 attorneys will take the training as well.
[dcquiz]A host of questionable police cases, from Ferguson to Baltimore and more, have soured attitudes toward law enforcement. The training addresses a range potential biases, including sexual orientation, religion, and socio-economic status. Accusations of racial bias have been the biggest thorn in the side of law enforcement. The training will show DOJ officials how to recognize and handle their implicit bias.
“The Department of Justice has a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that our criminal justice system is fair and impartial,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said in a statement. “Given that the research is clear that most people experience some degree of unconscious bias, and that the effects of that bias can be countered by acknowledging its existence and utilizing response strategies, it is essential that we provide implicit bias training to all of our prosecutors and law enforcement agents. Along with the heads of our law enforcement agencies, I’m looking forward to participating in DOJ’s very first training session tomorrow morning.”
“Our officers are more effective and our communities are more secure when law enforcement has the tools and training they need to address today’s public safety challenges,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “At the Department of Justice, we are committed to ensuring that our own personnel are well trained in the core principles and best practices of community policing. Today’s announcement is an important step in our ongoing efforts to promote fairness, eliminate bias and build the stronger, safer, more just society that all Americans deserve.”
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