Court battles apparently are holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in Justice Department payments. “This is going on in every state in the country. The reddest of red states, you know, Mississippi, Alabama, they’re having the same problem,” says Connecticut criminal justice chief Mike Lawlor.
An agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Memphis Police Department mentioned use of force procedures, training about bias and a commitment to public transparency, but in a new memorandum that language is gone under the regime of Attorney General Jeff Sessions,
The Justice Department issued guidelines aimed at providing more transparency around prosecutors’ secret demands for customer data stored on tech firms’ servers. The guidance approved by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ends the routine imposition of gag orders barring companies from telling customers their email or other records have been turned over in response to legal demands.
The Trump-era Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has issued employees a page with a dozen items of “language guidance” — a table listing “language to avoid” and “language options to use instead.” Among the disfavored words and phrases: reform, summit, and underserved youth.
The White House defends the talks. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told Politico. “For him to be interviewing candidates for that prosecutor who may in turn consider whether to bring indictments involving him and his administration seems to smack of political interference.”
Speaking for five hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized former FBI director James Comey and said the U.S. probably is not doing enough to protect against future meddling by Russia in U.S. elections.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is setting up a unit to oversee a policy he reinstated to help state and local police take cash and property from people suspected of a crime, even if they have not been charged. Former Attorney General Eric Holder halted the program after criticism.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sending a signal that he has made a priority of fighting violence against transgender people individually, even as he has rolled back legal protections for them collectively. DOJ rarely assigns its lawyers to serve as local prosecutors.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviving a community-based effort to target local gangs and reduce gun crimes in hot spots across the U.S. The Project Safe Neighborhoods strategy was introduced 16 years ago to combat violence by strengthening partnerships among law enforcement officials and community leaders.
In an example of how U.S. Justice Department priorities are changing, new U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman in Cleveland has eliminated the office’s civil rights unit and has established a new division that will focus on prosecuting violent crime. The crime unit will use the power of the federal government to build bigger conspiracy cases and target gangs.