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ODPS Office of Criminal Justice Services Deaths in Police Custody Reporting
ODPS | Office of Criminal Justice Services
Deaths in Custody Reporting
The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) is responsible for collecting data on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice with regard to the federal Deaths in Custody Reporting Act (DICRA) of 2013 (Public Law 113-242). An arrest-related death (ARD) is defined as any death (e.g., gunshot wound, cardiac arrest, or drowning) that occurs during an interaction with state or local law enforcement personnel, including those that occur:
Shortly after freedom to leave is restricted, all deaths that occur shortly after a person’s freedom to leave is restricted by state or local law enforcement personnel.
During an attempt to arrest or in the process of arrest, all deaths that occur during the interaction with law enforcement personnel.
Without any direct action by law enforcement. This would include deaths attributed to suicide, intoxication, accidental injury, medical emergencies or health complications.
While in custody (before transfer to jail), all deaths that occur after law enforcement have established physical custody of an arrestee. These in-custody deaths can occur at the scene of the incident, during transport or while the suspect is being held at a law enforcement facility.
It should be noted that not all deaths that occur during an interaction with state or local law enforcement personnel are reported to the ARD program, and they include:
Deaths of bystanders, hostages and law enforcement personnel.
Deaths by federal law enforcement. However, fatal incidents that include interactions between federal law enforcement, along with state or local law enforcement are reportable to the ARD program.
Deaths of wanted criminal suspects before police contact. If a death occurred before law enforcement interaction of a wanted criminal suspect, it is not within the scope of the ARD program.
Deaths by vehicular pursuits without any direct police action. If law enforcement did not take direct action against the subject or their vehicle, these deaths are excluded from the ARD program. These types of incidents require that law enforcement take some kind of direct action against the subject. Direct action would include shooting at the subject’s vehicle, ramming it, or otherwise forcing the vehicle to stop or leave the road (e.g., roadblocks or spike strips). When law enforcement take direct action against the subject, only then is it reportable to the ARD program.
Deaths that occur in a jail or other long-term holding facility are also outside of the scope of the ARD program and are not collected by the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS).
The U.S. Department of Justice (Bureau of Justice Statistics) collects and maintains the data nationally, and has directed states to report cases quarterly. OCJS is asking that all county coroners, prosecuting attorneys and members of law enforcement to provide basic identifying information on any cases they suspect fit the definition.
Click here for further details and definitions on the Arrest-Related Deaths Program.
If you have any questions, please email Anjolie Harland or call 614-466-9028.