H.R. 2189: Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2011

H.R. 2189

Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2011

Rep. Bobby Scott

September 20, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 2189 under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  The resolution was introduced by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) on June 15, 2011 and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2189 would require federal law enforcement agencies and states that receive certain federal funds to report to the Department of Justice (DOJ) any deaths of persons arrested or detained by law enforcement personnel under their jurisdiction.  The bill would also direct DOJ to prepare a report, within two years of enactment, on the information provided by federal agencies and states and on ways to reduce the number of such deaths.

The bill would require states to report on information that, at a minimum, includes the following information;

  • The name, gender, race, ethnicity, and age of the deceased;
  • The date, time, and location of death;
  • The law enforcement agency that detained, arrested, or was in the process of arresting the deceased; and
  • A brief description of the circumstances surrounding the death.

H.R. 2189 would require the head of each Federal law enforcement agency to submit to the Attorney General a report that contains information regarding the death of any person who is detained, under arrest, or is in the process of being arrested by any officer of such Federal law enforcement agency (or by any State or local law enforcement officer while participating in and for purposes of a Federal law enforcement operation, task force, or any other Federal law enforcement capacity carried out by such Federal law enforcement agency); or en route to be incarcerated or detained, or is incarcerated or detained.


According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), implementing H.R. 2189 would have no significant cost to the federal government.  Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.