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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) joined U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in introducing the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, legislation to provide long-term solutions focused on police reform, accountability and transparency.

“I am proud to join my friend and colleague Senator Tim Scott in introducing the JUSTICE Act. Enacting comprehensive reform to reshape police procedures and training is the first step to protecting the rights of all individuals,” said Risch. "This legislation will improve accountability and transparency within the criminal justice system. I thank Senator Scott for his leadership on this effort, and look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to advance this legislation.”

The full text of the JUSTICE Act is here, and a section by section analysis is here. A summary of the legislation is available below:

Law Enforcement Reform

  • The JUSTICE Act strengthens the training methods and tactics throughout law enforcement jurisdictions, especially regarding de-escalation of force and the duty to intervene, providing law enforcement with new funding to do so, and will also end the practice of utilizing chokeholds.
  • Additionally, the bill will reform hiring practices by providing more resources to ensure the makeup of police departments more closely matches the communities they serve.
  • The JUSTICE Act also ensures when a candidate is interviewed, the department looking to hire will have access to their prior disciplinary records.
  • Studies show that when body cameras are properly used violent encounters decrease significantly.
  • The JUSTICE Act will put more body cameras on the streets, and ensure that departments are both using the cameras and storing their data properly.
  • JUSTICE also requires a report establishing best practices for the hiring, firing, suspension, and discipline of law enforcement officers.
  • Currently, only about 40 percent of police officers from jurisdictions nationwide report to the FBI after an incident where an officer has discharged his or her weapon or used force.
  • The bill will require full reporting in these two areas.
  • There is also very little data as to when, where and why no knock warrants are used, and the JUSTICE Act will require reporting in this area as well.
Additional Steps
  • The JUSTICE Act will finally make lynching a federal crime.
  • It also creates two commissions to study and offer solutions to a broader range of challenges facing black men and boys, and the criminal justice system as a whole.
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