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University of Texas at Dallas

Data show consent decrees worth their costs

Data show consent decrees worth their costs

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review its police reform activities that began under former President Barack Obama. Though his memo fell short of calling for a reversal of the federal government’s role in local law enforcement affairs, it sent a signal that he — and, by extension, the Trump administration — is skeptical about the DOJ’s need to monitor and force reform within America’s police departments.

Mr. Sessions said during his confirmation hearing that federal intervention can “undermine the respect for police officers and create an impression that the entire department is not doing [its] work.” While his statement may be...