Holder August 2013 directive re: local guidelines for federal charges

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General of the United States of America.
Tracking # AG/15-01984 (F)
Due March 18, 2015
Est. Completion Feb. 17, 2016
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

The memo, directive or other communication sent to federal prosecutors by Attorney General Holder in August 2013 regarding:
(1) development of local guidelines for determining when federal charges should and should not be filed
(2) guidance to ensure that every case serves a substantial federal interest and complements the work of law enforcement partners
(3) creation and updating of comprehensive anti-violence strategies for badly-afflicted areas

Attorney General Holder has referred to the above communication in two speeches:

The first was on August 12, 2013 at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates (see prepared remarks here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-eric-holder-delivers-remarks-annual-meeting-american-bar-associations): "This means that federal prosecutors cannot – and should not – bring every case or charge every defendant who stands accused of violating federal law. Some issues are best handled at the state or local level. And that’s why I have today directed the United States Attorney community to develop specific, locally-tailored guidelines – consistent with our national priorities – for determining when federal charges should be filed, and when they should not. I’ve also issued guidance to ensure that every case we bring serves a substantial federal interest and complements the work of our law enforcement partners. I have directed all U.S. Attorneys to create – and to update comprehensive anti-violence strategies for badly-afflicted areas within their districts. And I’ve encouraged them to convene regular law enforcement forums with state and local partners to refine these plans, foster greater efficiency, and facilitate more open communication and cooperation."

The second speech was on February 17, 2015 at the National Press Club (see prepared remarks here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-holder-delivers-remarks-national-press-club): "First, among the central components of Smart on Crime is an effort to reduce unnecessary incarceration by asking federal prosecutors to exercise discretion – and make smart and targeted decisions – about which cases warrant federal prosecution. As I said in a speech to the American Bar Association, in August of 2013, not every drug case should be brought in a federal court. Accordingly, I directed our United States Attorneys to develop specific, locally-tailored guidelines – consistent with national priorities – for determining when federal charges should be filed, and when cases should be handled at the state or local level. Today, I am pleased to report that our federal prosecutors are heeding that call."

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Butler, Christina M. (OIP)

Mr. Musgrave,

Attached is our acknowledgement letter to your above-referenced Freedom of Information Act request.

Regards,

Christina M. Butler
Attorney-Advisor
Office of Information Policy
U.S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 11050
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Tel: (202) 616-5476
Fax: (202) 514-1009
Christina.M.Butler@usdoj.gov<mailto:Christina.Butler@usdoj.gov>

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 18, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Butler, Christina M. (OIP)

Mr. Musgrave,

We received your inquiry regarding one of your FOIA requests. We would like to clarify that the acknowledgment letter sent to you below, covered both of your requests sent on February 18, 2015, from the email address starting 16249 and the one starting 16250, since both requests are on related topics. Please be advised that we are still searching for responsive records for both of your emails, and we can only estimate that it will take about three months to process your FOIA requests. This is a preliminary estimate at this time. We will be able to provide a more accurate estimate once our searches have been completed and we have conducted an initial review of the responsive material.

Regards,

Christina M. Butler
Attorney-Advisor
Office of Information Policy
U.S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, NW
Suite 11050
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Tel: (202) 616-5476
Fax: (202) 514-1009
Christina.M.Butler@usdoj.gov<mailto:Christina.Butler@usdoj.gov>

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 18, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #AG/15-01984 (F).

Thank you for your help.

From: Butler, Christina M. (OIP)

Mr. Musgrave,

Please be advised that we are still searching for responsive records. As we advised in our e-mail of April 9, 2015, we estimate that it will take about three months to process your FOIA requests. As stated in our previous e-mail, this is a preliminary estimate at this time that will likely be modified as our searching is completed, and the volume and complexity of the material is evaluated. We will be able to provide a more accurate estimate once our searches have been completed and we have conducted an initial review of the responsive material.

We appreciate your patience.
Regards,

Christina M. Butler
Attorney-Advisor
Office of Information Policy
Tel: (202) 616-5476

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 18, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #AG/15-01984 (F).

Thank you for your help.

From: Butler, Christina M. (OIP)

Mr. Musgrave,
Please be advised that your request is being processed. To date, we have located some material that we are reviewing to determine if it is responsive to your request as well as continuing our records search in the Office of the Attorney General for additional material. As we previously advised, we will be able to provide a more accurate estimate once our search is completed. At this time, we estimate that it will take about three months to process your FOIA request. However, this estimate will likely be modified once our searching is completed and the volume and complexity of the material is evaluated.
We appreciate your patience.
Regards,
Christina M. Butler
Attorney-Advisor
Office of Information Policy
Tel: (202) 616-5476

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 18, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #AG/15-01984 (F).

Thank you for your help.

From: Butler, Christina M. (OIP)

Mr. Musgrave,
Please be advised that your request is being processed. As we advised in our e-mail of July 16, 2015, we estimate that it will take about three months to process your FOIA requests. As stated in our previous e-mail, we have located some material that we are reviewing to determine if it is responsive to your request as well as continuing our records search for responsive material. As we previously advised, this estimate will likely be modified once our searching is completed and the volume and complexity of the material is evaluated.
We appreciate your patience.
Regards,
Christina M. Butler
Attorney-Advisor
Office of Information Policy
Tel: (202) 616-5476

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 18, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #AG/15-01984 (F).

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Butler, Christina M. (OIP)

Mr. Musgrave,

At this time, your request is still being processed. As we advised in our e-mail of July 16, 2015, we estimated that it will take about three months to process your FOIA requests; however, we must extend that estimate by approximately four months. As stated in our previous e-mail, we have located some material that we are reviewing to determine if it is responsive to your request as well as continuing our records search for responsive material. As we previously advised, this estimate will likely be modified once our searching is completed and the volume and complexity of the material is evaluated.
We appreciate your patience.
Regards,
Christina M. Butler
Attorney-Advisor
Office of Information Policy
Tel: (202) 616-5476

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

I have received a final response letter for AG/15-01984 (F), in which the OIP FOIA staff indicated that a search was conducted for "any reports,
presentations, summaries or analyses of local guidelines for federal charges developed in response to Attorney General’s August 2013 directive to federal prosecutors."

The present request, which I submitted separately but it now seems was combined with another request pertaining to AG Holder's August 2013 directive, was for three categories of records pertaining to the AG's directive itself:

The memo, directive or other communication sent to federal prosecutors by Attorney General Holder in August 2013 regarding:
(1) development of local guidelines for determining when federal charges should and should not be filed
(2) guidance to ensure that every case serves a substantial federal interest and complements the work of law enforcement partners
(3) creation and updating of comprehensive anti-violence strategies for badly-afflicted areas

Please indicate whether the March 15, 2017 response to FOIA request #AG/15-01984 (F) encompassed the present request for the directive and implementing documents.

Best,
Shawn Musgrave

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