DOJ personnel to receive ‘implicit bias’ training

The Justice Department of said it will incorporate “implicit bias” training as part of its regular training program for all DOJ law enforcement agents and prosecutors.

The Justice Department of said it will incorporate “implicit bias” training as part of its regular training program for all DOJ law enforcement agents and prosecutors.

The new training, which DOJ said is based on law enforcement best practices and current social science research, will begin in the next few weeks, according to the department.

“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 Yates, who on June 27 sent agents and prosecutors a memo informing them of the new training requirement. “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.”

Yates and the leaders of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Marshals Service were scheduled to participate June 28 in the first part of the executive training under the new curricula. DOJ said that in coming months, training will begin with executive personnel, followed by supervisors and managers, and then line personnel, including agents and attorneys.

Those receiving training will include more than 23,000 agents employed by the FBI, DEA, ATF and the Marshals Service; 5,800 attorneys working in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices; agents in the Office of the Inspector General, and prosecutors.

“Through the new training, over 28,000 department employees will learn how to recognize and address their own implicit bias, which are the unconscious or subtle associations that individuals make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups,” said an announcement of the new training. “Implicit bias can affect interactions and decisions due to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and socio-economic status, as well as other factors. Social science has shown that all individuals experience some form of implicit bias but that the effects of those biases can be countered through training.”

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