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Homeland Security

Complaints Process Improved (December 2010)

Over the past six months, the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) has consulted a wide range of stakeholders and are now bringing to a close a major review of our complaints process, with many resulting improvements.

Highlights include:

  • Complaints Database. Our new complaints database, launched in October 2010, improves confidentiality protections and record keeping; its tracking and reporting functions will assist trend analysis.
  • Expedited Complaint Processing. We have created a “short form” complaint process to facilitate immediate responses to address urgent complaints, using less formal channels of investigation.
  • Increased Transparency. We now tell complainants and the public more about complaints results.
  • Online Complaint Form. Our new (optional) easy-to-use, online complaint form can be accessed on our webpage, downloaded, and submitted via e-mail. It will soon be posted in many languages.
  • Language Access. We have greatly improved our ability to accept complaints and interview complainants and witnesses in non-English languages, entering new contracts for on-demand interpretation services.
  • Complaint Follow-up. We have improved follow-up on recommendations that result from our complaint investigations.
  • Expert consultants. We have doubled our access to subject matter experts, who assist us with matters ranging from medical and mental health care to use of force.
  • Confidentiality. We are working with DHS component agencies to ensure complainant confidentiality and protections against reprisal.

Learn More

By mail or phone:
The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Building 410, Mail Stop #0190
Washington, D.C. 20528

Phone: 202-401-1474
Toll Free: 1-866-644-8360
TTY: 202-401-0470
Toll Free TTY: 1-866-644-8361
Fax: 202-401-4708

By e-mail:

Last Published Date: July 23, 2012
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