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June 27, 2016

Statement of ABA President Paulette Brown Re: Justice Dept. anti-bias training initiative

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2016 -- The American Bar Association welcomes the Department of Justice’s decision to implement mandatory, department-wide implicit bias training for all law enforcement agents and prosecutors.

One of the ABA’s guiding principles is to eliminate bias and enhance diversity in the legal profession and the justice system. In the last year, the ABA’s new Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission reviewed and analyzed the state of diversity and inclusion in the ABA, the legal profession and the judicial system, including probing the implicit bias that compromises how justice is administered in our country. As a result of the commission’s work, the ABA has created an award winning implicit bias training video for judges. Training videos and toolkits have also been developed for prosecutors and public defenders.

When unconscious biases impact the fairness and equality of our criminal justice system, complacency is not an option. The Department of Justice has taken an important step to deal with the implicit bias that affects our law enforcement policies and procedures and we compliment them.