Report language accompanying the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fiscal year (FY) 2021 Appropriation Bill required Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to take certain actions with respect to the review and reporting of deaths of individuals in its custody and deaths of individuals in which CBP was involved in some way. 1 As a part of those actions CBP was required to establish standardized definitions for in-custody deaths, to carry out certain investigative activities following such incidents, and to provide detailed reporting on these deaths to Congress and the public.
This report includes statistical data on a total of 151 deaths, which occurred during FY 2021, including 55 in-custody deaths, 53 reportable CBP-involved deaths, and 43 additional deaths that Appropriations staff requested OPR to review. The report provides background information on the demographics of decedents, the locations of the deaths, and broadly categorizes the most frequent causes of death. The report also contains information on how deaths were reviewed by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of the Chief Medical Officer. In a limited number of instances, and as required by Appropriations report language, certain in-custody deaths were reviewed by an independent clinician contracted by CBP.
1 H. Rept. 116-458, Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, 2021.