It looks like the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking its own advice. On Monday (June 27), the agency announced that each of its 28,000+ law enforcement agents and prosecutors will be required to receive training on recognizing and addressing implicit bias. It is a measure that the DOJ often mandates for troubled police departments, like the ones in Ferguson, Missouri, and Newark, New Jersey. Research shows that implicit bias has a significant impact on how police interact with citizens of color.
“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.”
The training will commence over the next few weeks, and will be mandatory for Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, plus about 5,800 lawyers who work in the nation’s 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices.