WHEREAS, process failures, neglect, systemic racism, and bias continue to result in unnecessary and preventable loss of life in our U.S. criminal justice system and mental health institutions; and
WHEREAS, fair treatment and adequate, medical and mental health care traditionally have not been consistently provided for individuals while they are in custody; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that between 2001 and 2016, over 16,000 people died in local jails, with almost half dying due to unnatural causes like suicide or drug overdose, and nearly 60,000 people died in state and federal prisons; and
WHEREAS, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies continuously fail to provide effective, independent oversight of in-custody deaths.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP reaffirms its dedication to ensuring data transparency and law enforcement accountability to secure and defend the constitutional protections that are due to all, including incarcerated individuals, under Federal and State Laws.
BE ITFURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP seeks full transparency and reporting of data concerning any deaths while in the custody of law enforcement including, but not limited to, during arrests, in local jails, in state/federal prisons, and in immigration detention facilities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NAACP calls on the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Department of Justice at large, and Congress, within their respective jurisdictions, to adequately fund and enforce the mandated reporting of all deaths occurring in law enforcement custody, standardize a uniform reporting process, and ensure complete, accurate, and timely collection and publication of all deaths occurring on the local, state, and federal levels.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP demands that each of the above-referenced deaths be reported to the local health department, the State Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control.