The Department of Justice said on June 27 that it is providing new training for employees to address implicit bias in law enforcement.
The Department of Justice unveiled a new training plan to address implicit bias in law enforcement.
The June 27 announcement move comes as the DOJ tries to make law enforcement more aware of stereotypes and bias can play in police work.
"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," said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch 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."
Implicit bias involves crafting judgments based on subtle and often unconscious determinations, such as stereotyping or racial profiling.
DOJ officials said the training would roll out over a number of weeks, first with 23,000 agents in the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and U.S. Marshals Service.
Another 5,800 attorneys from the U.S. Attorney's Office will also receive the training before the agency expands the program to other Justice entities.
The training represents an attempt by the DOJ to counter how stereotyping can impact law enforcement's role in the communities it serves following a string of controversial and racially-charged cases resulting in the death of suspects in custody have reverberated across the country.
"The Department of Justice has a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that our criminal justice system is fair and impartial," said Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates 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."
The Implicit Bias Training Program will encompass three levels of training to address how implicit bias could affect front-line personnel, management and executive leadership in federal law enforcement.
The new curriculum will roll out with an executive training session on June 28. DOJ officials said that further training sessions will debut over the coming months.