On May 25, 2022, President Biden issued an executive order aimed at creating new policies to promote trust in law enforcement, while holding officers accountable for misconduct, and improving the conditions of inmates in federal detention facilities. The order opens with a lengthy discussion of the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they police and then provides a broad overview of areas where the Administration will take action, including a pledge to “fully implement the First Step Act by supporting sentencing reductions in appropriate cases and by allowing eligible incarcerated people to participate in recidivism reduction programming and earn time credits.”
The order then lists a number of specific actions the Administration is taking, including increasing training and funding for investigations into civil rights violations, patterns of misconduct by law enforcement officers (“including prosecutors”), and use-of-force training, while boosting funding for recruitment and retention of police officers. The order also directs the Attorney General to establish a “National Law Enforcement Accountability Database” within 240 days. The order seeks to restrict no-knock warrants as well.
Regarding prison conditions and sentencing, the order seeks to improve material conditions in jails and prisons and identify inmates eligible for early release. Within 180 days, the Attorney General must detail steps it has taken to limit the use of solitary confinement, for example, as well as a comprehensive report on conditions in BOP and other federal facilities. Finally, the order has several provisions aimed at implementing the First Step Act and ensuring its implementation does not have any inequitable or disparate impacts.
Click here to read the ACLU’s article on the executive order, which the ACLU calls “a Foundation to Build Upon.”