U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service

Semester: 2014 Fall

Students: Jennifer John, Caroline Sacerdote, and Sam Koplewicz

The Community Relations Service (CRS) serves as “America’s Peacemaker” for the U.S. Department of Justice, helping local communities address community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin.

CRS helps communities develop strategies to prevent and respond to violent hate crimes committed on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. By providing mediation, facilitation, training, and consulting services, CRS helps communities enhance their ability to independently prevent and resolve future conflicts.

In 2014, CRS celebrates its 50th Anniversary and is looking forward to the future. This project stems from Congress’ expansion of CRS’ jurisdiction from three categories of discrimination to eight categories of actual or perceived biases that incite or have the potential to incite a hate crime. Through targeted research and independent analysis, this project will serve to help CRS determine the conflict resolution needs for the nation over the next 50 years and provide recommendations on how CRS may position itself to best impact the country in the 21st century.

The project proposal includes, but may not be limited to, the following activities:

  • Interview CRS employees;
  • Interview CRS customers (e.g. community groups, law enforcement, government officials, advocacy organizations, educators);
  • Research on CRS strategies.

The following deliverable(s) are envisioned:

  • White Paper on possible CRS future strategies;
  • PowerPoint on “Moving CRS Forward to the Next 50 Years.”

Field Visit

Team CRS Visit to DoJ - lo res

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