U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Filing a Civil Rights Complaint

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigates complaints from members of the public who believe that an agency that receives funding from the Justice Department has discriminated against them, either in employment or in the delivery of services or benefits.

More specifically, the OCR has jurisdiction to investigate agencies that receive funding from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), and the Office of Justice Programs and its components. The OCR can investigate not only recipients that receive funding directly from the Justice Department, but it can also investigate agencies that receive Justice Department funding from state and local government agencies.

Federal laws prohibit recipients of Justice Department funding from discriminating against individuals or groups, either in employment or in the delivery of services or benefits, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. In addition, federal law prohibits recipients of Justice Department funding from discriminating on the basis of age in the delivery of services or benefits.

To file a civil rights complaint, download and complete the Complaint Verification Form (CVF) and the Identity Release Statement (IRS) and return both forms to the OCR at the following address:

Office for Civil Rights
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531

If you believe that you have been the target of discrimination, you should file a complaint with the OCR as soon as possible. In most circumstances, you may have no longer than one year from the date of the discriminatory incident to file a complaint.

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