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Deaths in Custody

In January 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) began requiring reporting from states pursuant to the Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA). As the State Administrative Agency (SAA) for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs (OHSJP) is responsible for South Carolina’s DCRA reporting to the BJA. DCRA requires states and federal law enforcement agencies to report certain information to the Attorney General regarding the deaths, of certain people, that occur during certain interactions with law enforcement officers or while in custody.

To view a dashboard of verified deaths in custody reported to the OHSJP, visit the interactive dashboard at SC Deaths in Custody ( 

For each quarter in the fiscal year, Coroners’ Offices and correctional/law enforcement agencies should either (1) identify all reportable deaths that occurred in their jurisdiction during the corresponding quarter and provide basic information about the circumstances of each death, or (2) affirm that no reportable death occurred during the reporting period by email to Information concerning deaths in custody may be reported via encrypted email* to the OHSJP in one of three forms:

  1. A complete coroner’s report;
  2. The SCDPS DCRA Form;
  3. The Death in Custody Reporting Act (Bulk Upload- Excel Spreadsheet). Instructions for this form are located here Death in Custody Reporting Act (Decedent Data Specification)

Agencies reporting deaths in custody may send reports at any time during the reporting period, but reporting documents must be submitted at least quarterly in accordance with the dates listed below:

  • January 1 - March 31 Reporting Period – DUE: April 14
  • April 1 – June 30  Reporting Period – DUE: July 14
  • July 1 – September 30 Reporting Period – DUE: October 14
  • October 1 – December 31 Reporting Period – DUE: January 14.

*If an agency does not have the capability to encrypt emails, please mail reporting forms to:

Mr. Ross Hartfield
Statistical Analysis and Research Manager
Attn: Death in Custody Reporting

South Carolina Department of Public Safety
Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs
Post Office Box 1993
Blythewood, SC, 29016

If you have any questions, or need further assistance regarding DCRA, please contact Mr. Ross Hartfield at or (803) 896-8717.