Can We Achieve a Better System of Justice?

The Washington Post recently reported:

The Justice Department on Monday said it will train its law enforcement agents and prosecutors to recognize and address how their own implicit bias affects their workplace decisions.

The training will involve some 23,000 agents in the department’s four major law enforcement branches plus 5,800 lawyers in the 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates said in a memo to employees.

She said that implicit bias “presents unique challenges to effective law enforcement, because it can alter where investigators and prosecutors look for evidence and how they analyze it without their awareness or ability to compensate.”

The training will build on prior efforts across the department to raise awareness of implicit bias, putting a special emphasis on those with the most direct involvement with the criminal justice system, she said.

“These trainings, based on the latest scientific research, will be tailored to your agency and the type of work you do, recognizing, for example, that implicit bias can manifest itself differently for a line agent handling drug cases and a supervisory AUSA [assistant U.S. Attorney] involved in hiring and promotion decisions,” the memo said.

An accompanying fact sheet defines implicit bias as “the unconscious and often subtle associations we make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups.” 

 

The full story may be found here.

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