BJS initiated the DCRP in response to the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DICRA) of 2000 (P.L. 106-297), which encouraged states to report certain information related to the deaths of individuals in the custody of law enforcement agencies. BJS developed three data collection efforts under the DCRP; these obtained data on deaths in state prisons, in local jails, and in the process of arrest to include deaths occurring in police lockups. BJS has collected data under the DCRP since 2000 and currently collects data directly from state prisons and local jails. BJS temporarily suspended collecting data on deaths in the process of arrest in order to undertake methodological research to improve the reliability of these data.
The Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-242) was passed in December 2014. It also encourages the States to report certain information about deaths of individuals in the custody of law enforcement agencies. In addition it requires the head of each Federal law enforcement agency to submit a report to the Attorney General in a manner and form specified by the Attorney General that contains information on any death of a person who is detained, under arrest, or is in the process of being arrested by a Federal law enforcement agency or who is in route to be incarcerated or detained in any facility under contract with a Federal law enforcement agency or in any Federal correctional or pre-trial detention facility.
This work described in this solicitation covers the collection of data on persons who die in the custody of a state prison, or local jail.
The DCRP data collection has two components
(1)From local jails, BJS collects individual-level data on inmates who died in the custody of local jails and the circumstances of their deaths, and jail-level data such as average daily population, admissions, and confined population size. The population component is used to produce jail population data and calculate jail mortality rates. (2) From state prisons, BJS collects individual-level data on decedents only. Existing prison databases are used to produce prison population counts and prisoner mortality rates.
BJS uses information collected from the DCRP to track changes in mortality and assess whether they are due to changes in the demographic and crime composition of populations or changes in the age, sex, race, or offense-specific mortality rates. BJS also describes the circumstances surrounding deaths, such as preexisting medical conditions, medical treatment during incarceration, and place of death. Separating changes in overall mortality rates into compositional and group- and cause-specific rates allows BJS to identify the sources of changes in mortality rates. Under Title 42 of the United States Code, Section 3789g, BJS collects data for statistical purposes only, and does not release data pertaining to specific individuals in any of its data collections, including the DCRP, and has implemented procedures to guard against disclosure of personally identifiable information. DCRP data are maintained under the security provisions outlined in 28 CFR Part 22. (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/bjsmpc.pdf).