For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Scott Swenson, (202) 675-2313 or 2312;

Restoring Respect for Detainees Who Die in Captivity

ACLU Supports House Judiciary Committee’s Action

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee approved a bill today requiring state and federal authorities to promptly report all deaths of individuals in law enforcement custody to the U.S. Attorney General.

“All too often, family and friends of immigration detainees find out about the tragic deaths of their loved ones by word-of-mouth or through news reports instead of by prompt and direct communication. This is an important step toward restoring respect detainees and families deserve,” said Joanne Lin, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel.


Our Summer Campaign Is Underway

Support Common Dreams Today

Independent News and Views Putting People Over Profit

The House Judiciary Committee’s action penalizes states for failing to report deaths of detainees, including immigrants, in law enforcement custody.

Under the Death In Custody Reporting Act, state facilities that receive funding from the federal government will lose 10 percent of their allotment if they fail to provide details of detainee deaths in a timely fashion, and federal law enforcement agencies are also required to submit such reports of detainee deaths. Within two years of the bill’s enactment, the Attorney General will produce a study synthesizing the individual reports in order to reduce the number of deaths and to “examine the relationship, if any, between the number of such deaths and the actions of management” who operate detention facilities. The ACLU urges the full House and Senate to follow suit and also pass the bill, which was introduced by Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA).


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Share This Article

More in: