Civil Rights Prosecution

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Justice , Civil Rights Division
CFDA #: 16.109

Purpose of this program:

To reduce police and other official criminal misconduct, to reduce violent activity by private citizens (including organized hate groups) against others because of their race, religion, national origin, or sex, which interferes with the Federal and constitutional rights of individuals, (including church arson); and to curtail acts of modern-day slavery and violent interference with access to reproductive health care.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

The Section prosecutes cases of national significance involving the deprivation of personal liberties which either cannot be, or are not, sufficiently addressed by State or local authorities. Its jurisdiction includes acts of racial violence, misconduct by local, State, or Federal law enforcement officials, violations of the peonage and involuntary servitude statutes that protect migrant workers and others held in bondage and violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. The Section ensures that complaints are reviewed on a timely basis for investigation and potential prosecution.

Who is eligible to apply...

All persons regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Individuals alleging deprivation of their civil rights should provide information describing the sequence of events (including the type of force or coercion involved), the date of the incident, the names of identifiable perpetrators, involved law enforcement officers and witnesses, a description of any physical injuries and medical treatment, if needed, and the nature of work being forced (if applicable).

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Contact the Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division directly, the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the local U.S. Attorney's Office, or the national toll-free complaint line for worker exploitation (1-888-428-7581).

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Complaints alleging deprivation of civil rights are reviewed and, in those cases involving complaints of official abuse that are investigated by the FBI, the individual is notified in writing of the outcome of that review, whether it be to decline investigation or prosecution or to seek an indictment.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


The federal criminal civil rights statutes generally have a five year statute of limitations from the date of the incident, except in cases involving an intentional killing (generally not bound by the statute of limitations) or religious interference incidents (seven year statute of limitations).

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Initial complaints that are reviewed and deemed inappropriate for investigation are generally reviewed within 3 months of their being received. Investigated complaints in which prosecution is sought are usually resolved within a year of the indictment.

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


If new information, not considered by the Section in its original review of complaints for investigation and prosecution, is made available within the applicable statute of limitations, the Section will review the complaint again in light of that new information.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

All persons regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Investigation of Complaints

Federal administrative agency activities that are initiated in response to requests, either formal or informal, to examine or investigate claims of violations of Federal statutes, policies, or procedure. The origination of such claims must come from outside the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Salaries and Expenses) FY 03 $12,714,000; FY 04 est $13,151,000; and FY 05 est $12,800,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

See Program Accomplishments.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

(Criminal Section) During fiscal year 2003, the Criminal Section filed a total of 61 cases charging 123 defendants in cases involving official misconduct, racial violence/hate crimes, human trafficking/involuntary servitude, church burnings, and the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). A total of 103 defendants, including some defendants charged in prior years, were successfully prosecuted.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Each statute has elements of the offense that must be met in order for there to be Federal jurisdiction. Furthermore, there must be evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a violation occurred. Official misconduct cases: (1) the defendant must have been acting under color of the law, that is, while using or misusing power possessed by reason of the law (Private citizens jointly engaged with State officials, who are themselves acting under color of the law, in prohibited activity, are acting under color of law for purposes of Section 242.); (2) the conduct of the defendant must have deprived the victim of some right secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (3) there must have been an intent on the part of the defendant willfully to subject the victim to the deprivation of the right described above. Racial violence cases: (1) the defendant must have acted with force or the threat of force; (2) the defendant must have injured, intimidated, or interfered with or attempted to injure, intimidate or interfere with the victim; (3) the defendant must have acted because of the victim's race, color, religion or national origin and because the victim was participating or engaged in a federally protected activity (as enumerated in 18 U.S.C. 245 (b)(2)(A) through (F)) and 42 U.S.C. 3631; and (4) finally, the defendant must have acted willfully. Human trafficking/ involuntary servitude cases: (1) a person must be made to work against his will by the defendant; (2) the period of involuntary servitude must be for a "term"; (3) the defendant must have caused the involuntary servitude by his acts; and (4) the defendant must have intended to cause involuntary service by his acts. Forced labor: (1) defendant did, or attempted to, provide or obtain the labor or services of a person, (2) defendants used either threats of serious harm to, or physical restraint against, that person or another person; used a scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that non-performance would result in serious harm to, or physical restraint against, that person or another person; or abused or threatened abuse of the law or legal process, and (3) defendant acted knowingly. Reproductive health clinic access cases: (1) facility providing reproductive health services; (2) defendant used force, threat of force, or physical obstruction; (3) defendant intended or attempted to injure, intimidate, or interfere with; and (4) someone providing or obtaining reproductive health services.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Not applicable.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


Not applicable.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Not applicable.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



18 U.S.C. 241, 242, 245, 247, 248, 1581, 1583, 1584, 1589, 1590, 1592; 1594; 42 U.S.C. 3631.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

U.S. Attorneys' Manual, Title 8, Chapter 3 Sentencing Guidelines; Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Local U.S. Attorney's Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section, Washington, DC 20530. Telephone: (202) 514-3204. Contact: Office of Public Affairs. Telephone: (Voice) (202) 514-2007; (TDD) (202) 514-1888.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: