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Death in Custody Reporting Act


Beginning FY 2019, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will require states to report quarterly the death of individuals in custody, pursuant to the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA).  DCRA requires states and federal law enforcement agencies to report certain information to the U.S. Attorney General regarding the death of any person occurring while in custody. “In Custody” is defined as the death of “any person who is detained, under arrest, or is in the process of being arrested, is en route to be incarcerated, or is incarcerated at a municipal or county jail, State prison, State-run-boot camp prison, boot camp prison that is contracted out by the State, any State or local contract facility, or other local or State correctional facility (including any juvenile facility).

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is the designated agency to submit reports to BJA. For each quarter in a calendar year, states must either (1) identify all reportable deaths that occurred in their jurisdictions during the corresponding quarter and provide basic information about the circumstances of the death, or (2) affirm that no reportable death occurred during the reporting period.


All reporting entities (jail, prison, juvenile facility, law enforcement, etc.) should access the online reporting tool to complete the required questions related to DCRA within 20 days of each quarter ending.

Reporting deadlines are Jan. 20 (October–December), April 20 (January–March), July 20 (April–June) and October 20 (July–September). However, you may complete the form any time during the quarter in which a death occurred, instead of waiting until due date. For each reportable death, jails must enter:

  • The decedent’s name, date of birth, gender, race and ethnicity
  • The date, time and location of the death
  • The law enforcement or correctional agency involved
  • Manner of death

The reporting tool can be found by clicking here: Reporting Tool.


For questions on completing the DCRA reporting form, please email DCRA@cji.in.gov. Jurisdictions that fail to comply may be ineligible to receive funds from ICJI. For a list of frequently asked questions, please click here.