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Arrest Related Deaths (ARD) & Death in Custody Reporting Act General Information
What is the Death in Custody Reporting Act and Reporting Program?

The Death in Custody Reporting Act (DICRA) of 2000 (Public Law 106-297) required the U.S. Department of Justice to begin a quarterly collection of individual death records for anyone incarcerated in state and local correctional facilities at the time of death, and for any person who died while in the process of arrest. Although DICRA expired in 2006, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) remains committed to maintaining the goals of that legislation and continues to collect data on deaths that occurred during the process of arrest by state and local law enforcement agencies. These data are now collected under the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) reporting program.

Prior to the passage of the law, BJS had historically collected aggregate counts of deaths in correctional facilities. The collection of individual data allows BJS to perform detailed analyses of comparative death rates across demographic categories, offense types, and facility/agency characteristics. The collection of arrest-related death records began in 2003. BJS has published both in-depth analytical reports and online statistical tables from these DCRP collections.

What is ICJIA's responsibility in the ARD/DICRA/DCRP?

ICJIA collects data only for the Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) portion of the program. DICRA requires states to submit a record describing each arrest-related death. ICJIA collects data on Illinois deaths in law enforcement custody semi-annually and submits completed records to BJS once per year. Deaths occurring in county jails and state correctional facilities should be reported to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

 

Information for Law Enforcement Agencies
An arrest related death has occurred involving our agency. Is this death eligible for reporting to ICJIA?

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an “arrest-related” death is one where an arrest subject either died in the presence of a State or local law enforcement officer or died as a result of actions taken by a State or local law enforcement officer. Deaths reportable to the ARD program include all persons in the custody, or under the restraint of law enforcement officers, even if the person was not formally under arrest at the time of death.

With the exception of innocent bystanders, hostages, and law enforcement personnel, all persons who die while their freedom to leave is restricted by state or local law enforcement personnel are subject for inclusion in the ARD program. This definition includes those killed by any use of force by law enforcement officers as well as those whose deaths are not directly related to either police action or negligence, such as deaths attributed to intoxication, suicide, accidental injury, and illness or natural causes.

Deaths resulting from vehicular accidents are included in the ARD program if law enforcement personnel engage in direct action against the deceased or the deceased’s vehicle during the process of apprehension. Examples of “direct action” include, shooting at, ramming, or otherwise forcing the deceased’s vehicle off the road (i.e., roadblocks, spike strips to blow out tires).

Arrest subjects who die from injuries sustained by non-law enforcement personnel are included in the ARD program if the injuries were sustained during an arrest process. Arrest-related deaths caused by civilians may be accidental or intentional.

Alternatively, there are instances where a person dies in the physical custody of law enforcement although an arrest process had not been initiated. Typically these cases involve the transport of individuals in need of medical or mental health care. Officers may restrain a person for their own safety, or for the safety of medical personnel on the scene. Even though these persons do not face any criminal charges, they are still under the restraint of law enforcement officers and should be reported to the ARD program. Please note that if such persons die at medical/mental health facilities following police transport, they are reportable to the ARD program only if the final determination of cause of death is directly linked to the period of law enforcement custody.

EXCLUDE deaths of ALL Persons in process of arrest:

  • Confined in local jails (facilities which typically house inmates for periods beyond 72 hours and after arraignment);
  • Confined in State prisons, State juvenile correctional facilities, or private correctional facilities;
  • Killed in the course of law enforcement activities against whom no charges were intended (e.g., innocent bystanders, hostages, law enforcement personnel);
  • Deaths resulting from vehicular accidents if law enforcement personnel did not take direct action against the deceased or the deceased’s vehicle. For the purposes of the ARD program, a police pursuit, no matter the speed, does not meet the “direct action” criteria. Fatal vehicular accidents occurring during a pursuit by law enforcement personnel should be excluded from the ARD program if that was the only action taken against the deceased.
Our agency has a case that is eligible under DCRP. What do we need to do?

Please complete the CJ-11A form (Click to download) and cover sheet, available here. Return the completed PDF of the form to ICJIA via email to Shamsideen.Balogun@Illinois.gov or send hard copies to:

ICJIA
ATTN: Shamsideen Balogun
300 W. Adams St., Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60606

If you need clarification on the reporting process or are unsure of whether you should report a death that has occurred, contact Shamsideen Balogun at (312) 793-8550, or email Shamsideen.Balogun@Illinois.gov. Please include the name of the deceased and date of occurrence.

 

Information for coroners and medical examiners
How can coroners and medical examiners help with DCRP?

By Illinois law (55 ILCS 5/3-3013), county coroners and medical examiners already investigate all deaths that fall within the nature of deaths in custody (sudden or violent, where the circumstances are suspicious, and/or where addiction to alcohol or any drug may have been a contributory cause). ICJIA is asking coroners and medical examiners for assistance in the ARD/DCRP by reporting deaths that fall under the appropriate criteria.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an “arrest-related” death is one where an arrest subject either died in the presence of a State or local law enforcement officer or died as a result of actions taken by a State or local law enforcement officer. Deaths reportable to the ARD program include all persons in the custody, or under the restraint of law enforcement officers, even if the person was not formally under arrest at the time of death.

With the exception of innocent bystanders, hostages, and law enforcement personnel, all persons who die while their freedom to leave is restricted by state or local law enforcement personnel are subject for inclusion in the ARD program. This definition includes those killed by any use of force by law enforcement officers as well as those whose deaths are not directly related to either police action or negligence, such as deaths attributed to intoxication, suicide, accidental injury, and illness or natural causes.

Deaths resulting from vehicular accidents are included in the ARD program if law enforcement personnel engage in direct action against the deceased or the deceased’s vehicle during the process of apprehension. Examples of “direct action” include, shooting at, ramming, or otherwise forcing the deceased’s vehicle off the road (i.e., roadblocks, spike strips to blow out tires).

Arrest subjects who die from injuries sustained by non-law enforcement personnel are included in the ARD program if the injuries were sustained during an arrest process. Arrest-related deaths caused by civilians may be accidental or intentional.

Alternatively, there are instances where a person dies in the physical custody of law enforcement although an arrest process had not been initiated. Typically these cases involve the transport of individuals in need of medical or mental health care. Officers may restrain a person for their own safety, or for the safety of medical personnel on the scene. Even though these persons do not face any criminal charges, they are still under the restraint of law enforcement officers and should be reported to the ARD program. Please note that if such persons die at medical/mental health facilities following police transport, they are reportable to the ARD program only if the final determination of cause of death is directly linked to the period of law enforcement custody.

EXCLUDE deaths of ALL Persons in process of arrest:

  • Confined in local jails (facilities which typically house inmates for periods beyond 72 hours and after arraignment);
  • Confined in State prisons, State juvenile correctional facilities, or private correctional facilities;
  • Killed in the course of law enforcement activities against whom no charges were intended (e.g., innocent bystanders, hostages, law enforcement personnel);
  • Deaths resulting from vehicular accidents if law enforcement personnel did not take direct action against the deceased or the deceased’s vehicle. For the purposes of the ARD program, a police pursuit, no matter the speed, does not meet the “direct action” criteria. Fatal vehicular accidents occurring during a pursuit by law enforcement personnel should be excluded from the ARD program if that was the only action taken against the deceased.

To report a death in custody that fits the above criteria, please:

Contact Shamsideen Balogun At (312) 793-8550, or e-mail Shamsideen.Balogun@Illinois.gov. Please include the name of the deceased and date of occurrence, and law enforcement agency involved. The Authority will contact the appropriate law enforcement agency for the further information.

OR

Complete the CJ-11A form (Click to download) to the best of your ability, including the three questions pertaining to cause and manner of death, which would be identified through an autopsy or medical examination. E-mail a PDF version of the forms to Shamsideen.Balogun@Illinois.gov, or send hard copies to:

ICJIA
ATTN: Shamsideen Balogun
300 W. Adams St., Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60606