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SPLC urges thorough guidelines for collection of data on fatal police encounters, prisoner deaths

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) should adopt guidelines that ensure the “timely, accurate and complete” collection of data on police killings and deaths in correctional facilities in all states and U.S. territories, the Southern Poverty Law Center said in comments submitted to the DOJ today.

The SPLC urged the DOJ to adopt the near-final guidelines for the Death in Custody Reporting Act published in the Federal Register on Dec. 19, 2016. The SPLC notes that those guidelines represent “extensive review and public engagement by DOJ through two comments periods.” The comments describe how proposed guidelines published in June 2018 are “significantly less likely” to be as effective as the December 2016 guidelines.

The comments also propose additional steps to help ensure prompt, accurate and comprehensive data collection.

The SPLC’s comments can be read below.