January 19, 2022

News

News Network

Federal Judges Reinventing the Jury Trial During Pandemic

12 min read
<div>A group of federal judges around the country are reinventing the jury trial so that it is not only a fair forum for the administration of justice, but also a safe experience for everyone in the courtroom, including defendants and jurors.</div>

Main content

These days, the work of a U.S. district judge can seem a lot like “building an airplane while you’re flying it,” says Judge Karen K. Caldwell, one of the first federal judges to resume jury trials after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic bloomed like ocean algae in the United States this past spring.

Caldwell, of the District of Eastern Kentucky, is among a group of judges around the country who are reinventing the jury trial so that it is not only a fair forum for the administration of justice, but also a safe experience for everyone in the courtroom, including defendants and jurors.

The effort has required judges and attorneys to rethink a trial at every stage, from the voir dire process of selecting a jury to the deliberations stage and the handing down of a verdict. Several judges interviewed for this series said they have found that trials can be conducted safely when following new, sometimes improvised protocols designed to protect health and safety.

In a new video from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, two federal judges discuss the challenges of conducting jury trials during the pandemic. Judge James C. Dever III, of the Eastern District of North Carolina, and Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, of the Northern District of Texas, recently presided over criminal jury trials, deploying a battery of new safety measures in their courtrooms.

These protocols include reconfiguring courtrooms and jury deliberation spaces to allow at least six-feet of social distancing by participants, the liberal use of masks or transparent face shields or both, the strategic placement of plexiglass barriers, vetting prospective jurors for health vulnerabilities or fears of exposing loved ones, reliance on technology to present evidence, and the constant cleaning of furniture and surfaces.

“Every day we evaluated and reevaluated our processes, and made adjustments throughout the trial,” said Judge Caldwell, who presided over an eight-week drug trafficking trial in April. “Every judge has to do it differently, depending on how busy it is in the courthouse, how bad the virus is in the community, and whether there are any active cases in the courthouse. There are so many variables, you could never come up with a plan that fits for everyone. But we trial judges are very adept at having to adapt and modify a plan on short notice. This is just another one of those situations, although on steroids.”

Judge James C. Dever III, of the Eastern District of North Carolina, decided to go forward with two separate jury trials in May after determining they could be conducted safely. The defendants in each case had pleaded not guilty and both wanted their day in court. Dever and other judges are acutely aware of the right to a speedy trial guaranteed by law and by the Constitution.

“There is no pandemic exception in the Constitution,” Judge Dever said. “And the Constitution has stood the test of time for more than 230 years.”

Charity Wilson, an assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted one of the cases, said she too wanted to move forward and felt it could be done safely, given the adjustments Judge Dever made to impose social distancing and other safety precautions. For example, she said, during voir dire, the judge made it clear that anyone who felt uncomfortable could be excused from serving.

“At some point, you have to try these cases,” Wilson said. “When defendants are saying they are not guilty, the burden is on the government to prove the charges.”

Courts resuming jury trials generally tend to be located in parts of the country where coronavirus numbers are trending downward. Many courts located in “hot spots” continue to delay jury trials out of concern about exacerbating outbreaks. The federal court in the Southern District of Florida has issued an order delaying the restart of jury trials until next year, while courts in Colorado, Arizona, Northern Georgia, and Northern and Central California have postponed them until the fall. 

The hands-on experiences of judges who’ve tried cases so far have mitigated one of the biggest concerns among judges and attorneys – that the fear of getting sick would make it impossible to empanel juries reflective of their communities. In the United States, criminal defendants have a right to a jury that is impartial and representative of a cross-section of the community.

COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on African Americans, Hispanics, and older Americans. That fact was on Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn’s mind when she began planning for the first pandemic-era jury trial in the Northern District of Texas. Along with the typical questionnaire, she sent prospective jurors a letter that explained the safety measures the court was taking and a form for them to list valid reasons to be excused, such as a job in health care or another essential industry or being in a health or age-related risk category for COVID-19.  

During jury selection, she brought in small groups of people, rather than one large group, to make it easier to maintain distancing. And she conducted the sessions with the attorneys on the first floor of the courthouse, eliminating the need for participants to be confined in elevators.

“They could see the seriousness with which we were taking this,” Judge Lynn said. “I was wearing a face shield, as were some of the lawyers. Others were wearing masks. We were all seated in the front of the room behind plexiglass. And (the prospective jurors) were checked in by a person behind plexiglass.”

Only one person opted out at that point, a woman who said she was concerned about bringing the virus home to an elderly parent. The jury that was ultimately seated included five African Americans, two Hispanic citizens, and people of varying ages. “So it was quite a representative jury,” Lynn said.

After the trial, she shared with other federal courts her playbook describing the steps she took to conduct a successful trial, after which no one fell ill with COVID-19. Federal judges also now have at their fingertips a new guide published by a group of judges working with staff from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. It’s called Conducting Jury Trials and Convening Grand Juries During the Pandemic.

Read the Series

This is the second in a series of articles about how federal courts are working to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Next in this series: Courts finding ways to keep jurors safe.

Innovation was a key element in Judge B. Lynn Winmill’s toolbox when he decided to conduct one of the first pandemic-era trials in Idaho. His court hired an epidemiologist to evaluate the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus. On the expert’s recommendation, the court adjusted the air circulation system so that every hour, the courtroom was replenished with 100 percent fresh air from the outdoors rather than a mix of fresh air and recycled indoor air.

“I think we made some pretty extraordinary efforts,” Judge Winmill said. “It wasn’t perfect, but it worked.”

Yet as more courts gradually consider restarting jury trials, challenges remain. Judges, attorneys, and others in the legal profession continue to debate whether jurors in masks present disadvantages to lawyers on both sides who pride themselves on reading facial expressions. Some courts remain unconvinced that multiple-defendant cases can go to trial safely because of the difficulty imposing social-distancing on a large group of defendants, family members, lawyers, and members of the media. There is also the question of how to keep people safe when courthouses are fully reopened to the public and trials are taking place concurrently, bringing more people together at once in indoor spaces.

“It’s a period of trial and error,” said Tony Gallagher, executive director of Federal Defenders of Montana. “We’ve all been involved in the planning process, changing procedures and protocols where necessary – our district COVID-19 committee, the GSA, the marshals, the defenders, the assistant U.S. attorneys, the judges, and the clerks. I don’t know what more our court could do other than somehow find a cure for COVID-19.”

News Network

  • Biglari Holdings Inc. to Pay Civil Penalty for Repeat Violation of Antitrust Pre-Transaction Notification Requirements
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Biglari Holdings Inc. (Biglari Holdings), a restaurant chain owner and investment fund operator.
    [Read More…]
  • Cybersecurity and Informtion Technology: Federal Agencies Need to Strengthen Efforts to Address High-Risk Areas
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In March 2021, GAO issued its high-risk series update and emphasized that federal agencies' needed to implement numerous critical actions to strengthen the nation's cybersecurity and information technology (IT) management efforts. In the update, GAO reiterated the importance of agencies addressing four major cybersecurity challenges facing the nation: (1) establishing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and performing effective oversight, (2) securing federal systems and information, (3) protecting cyber critical infrastructure, and (4) protecting privacy and sensitive data. Overall, the federal government has to move with a greater sense of urgency to fully address key cybersecurity challenges. In particular: Develop and execute a more comprehensive federal strategy for national cybersecurity and global cyberspace . In September 2020, GAO reported that the White House's national cyber strategy and associated implementation plan addressed some, but not all, of the desirable characteristics of national strategies, such as goals and resources needed. Mitigate global supply chain risks . GAO reported in December 2020 that few of the 23 civilian federal agencies it reviewed implemented foundational practices for managing information and communication technology supply chain risks. Address weaknesses in federal agencies information security programs. GAO reported in July 2019 that 23 agencies almost always designated a risk executive, but had not fully incorporated other key risk management practices, such as establishing a process for assessing agency-wide cybersecurity risks. In its March update, GAO also stressed the importance of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and federal agencies fully implementing critical actions recommended to improve the management of IT to better manage tens of billions of dollars in IT investments. GAO emphasized, for example, that OMB had demonstrated its leadership commitment to improving IT management, but sustaining this commitment was critically important; twenty-one of 24 federal agencies had not yet implemented recommendations to fully address the role of Chief Information Officers, including enhancing their authorities; OMB and agencies needed to address modernization challenges and workforce planning weaknesses; and agencies could take further action to reduce duplicative IT contracts and reduce the risk of wasteful spending. Until OMB and federal agencies take critical actions to strengthen efforts to address these important high-risk areas, longstanding and pervasive weaknesses will likely continue to jeopardize the nation's cybersecurity and management of IT. Why GAO Did This Study The nation's critical infrastructures and federal agencies are dependent on IT systems and electronic data to carry out operations and to process, maintain, and report essential information. Each year, the federal government spends more than $100 billion on cybersecurity and IT investments. GAO has long stressed the continuing and urgent need for effective cybersecurity, as underscored by recent events that have illustrated persistent and evermore sophisticated cyber threats and incidents. Moreover, many IT investments have failed, performed poorly, or suffered from ineffective management. Accordingly, GAO has included information security on its high-risk list since 1997 and added improving the management of IT acquisitions and operations in 2015. In its March 2021 high-risk series update, GAO reported that significant attention was needed in both of these important areas. GAO was asked to testify on federal agencies' efforts to address cybersecurity and the management of IT. For this testimony, GAO relied on selected products it previously issued.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks at Bilateral Strategic Dialogue with Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Responding to Modern Cyber Threats with Diplomacy and Deterrence
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Dr. Christopher Ashley [Read More…]
  • USDA Market Facilitation Program: Information on Payments for 2019
    In U.S GAO News
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) distributed about $14.4 billion in 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments to farming operations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. According to USDA, these payments were intended to offset the effects of trade disruptions and tariffs targeting a variety of U.S. agricultural products. FSA distributed these payments to 643,965 farming operations. The average MFP payment per farming operation for 2019 was $22,312 but varied by county, ranging from $44 to $295,299. MFP payments for 2019 also varied by type of commodity. Three types of commodities were eligible for 2019 MFP payments: (1) nonspecialty crops (including grains and oilseeds, such as corn and soybeans); (2) specialty crops (including nuts and fruits, such as pecans and cranberries); and (3) dairy and hogs. Most of the 2019 MFP payments went to farming operations that produced nonspecialty crops. Less than 10 percent went to farming operations that produced specialty crops or dairy and hogs. USDA made approximately $519 million in additional MFP payments for 2019 compared with 2018 because of increases in payment limits—the cap on payments that members of farming operations can receive. FSA distributed these additional MFP payments to about 10,000 farming operations across 39 states. The amount of additional MFP payments that FSA distributed for 2019 varied by location. Farming operations in five states—Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota—received almost half of all additional payments. In May 2019, USDA announced it would distribute up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to farming operations that were affected by trade disruptions, following the approximately $8.6 billion USDA announced it had distributed for 2018. USDA referred to these 2018 and 2019 payments as the MFP. In comparison with 2018, USDA changed the 2019 payment structure for the three types of commodities that were eligible for payments. For example, USDA increased the payment limit for each of these three types. GAO was asked to review the distribution of MFP payments for 2019. This report examines, among other things, MFP payments for 2019 and how they varied by location, farming operation, and type of commodity, as well as additional MFP payments for 2019 compared with 2018 that resulted from increased payment limits. To accomplish these objectives, GAO analyzed data from USDA and interviewed agency officials knowledgeable about the data. For more information, contact Steve Morris at (202) 512-3841 or morriss@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gantz
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Vitol Inc. Agrees to Pay over $135 Million to Resolve Foreign Bribery Case
    In Crime News
    Vitol Inc. (Vitol), the U.S. affiliate of the Vitol group of companies, which together form one of the largest energy trading firms in the world, has agreed to pay a combined $135 million to resolve the Justice Department’s investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to resolve a parallel investigation in Brazil.
    [Read More…]
  • Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s Visit to Cambodia
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Files Complaint to Stop Distribution of Unapproved, Misbranded, and Adulterated “Poly-MVA” Products
    In Crime News
    The United States filed a civil complaint to stop a California company from distributing unapproved and misbranded drugs and adulterated animal drugs, the Department of Justice announced today.
    [Read More…]
  • Last defendant convicted in nationwide synthetic narcotics distribution
    In Justice News
    A 47-year-old man will [Read More…]
  • Public Schedule – January 19, 2022
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Cyber Diplomacy: State Should Use Data and Evidence to Justify Its Proposal for a New Bureau of Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies
    In U.S GAO News
    The Department of State (State) did not demonstrate that it used data and evidence to develop its proposal for establishing a new Bureau of Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies (CSET). In response to GAO requests for such data and evidence, State provided GAO with briefing slides outlining different options for the new bureau and an action memo, approved by the Secretary of State. The memo recommended that CSET focus on cyberspace security and the security aspects of emerging technologies and report to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, while the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) would continue to have responsibility for digital economy issues. However, State did not explain how it would address any challenges associated with the decision on CSET's organizational placement. For example, the memo did not address how State would coordinate internally on the cybersecurity aspects of digital economy policy issues with cyber diplomacy functions split between CSET and EB. The memo also did not specify how State would develop consolidated positions and set priorities for State's international cyberspace efforts, given the separation of these issues. Moreover, neither the briefing nor the action memo contained analyses supporting the additional details laid out in State's 2019 notification to Congress on CSET, including support for proposed resource allocations for the new bureau. Without developing data and evidence to support its proposal for the new bureau, State lacks assurance that its proposal will effectively set priorities and allocate appropriate resources for the bureau to achieve its intended goals. State needs to develop these areas further to better ensure the success of any new organizational arrangement. The United States and its allies are facing expanding foreign cyber threats as international trade, communication, and critical infrastructure become increasingly dependent on cyberspace. State leads U.S. government international efforts to advance the full range of U.S. interests in cyberspace. The Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2019 (H.R. 739, 116th Cong.), co-sponsored by 29 members of Congress, proposed the establishment of a new office within State that would have consolidated responsibility for digital economy and internet freedom issues, together with international cybersecurity issues. While the House Foreign Affairs Committee reported out this bill in March 2019, the full House of Representatives did not consider the bill prior to expiration of the 116th Congress. State subsequently notified Congress in June 2019 of its plan to establish CSET, with a narrower focus on cyberspace security and emerging technologies. On January 7, 2021, State announced that the Secretary had approved the creation of CSET and directed the department to move forward with establishing the bureau. However, as of the date of this report, State had not created CSET. GAO was asked to review State's efforts to advance U.S. interests in cyberspace. This report examines the extent to which State used data and evidence to develop and justify its proposal to establish CSET. GAO reviewed available documentation and interviewed State officials. To determine the extent to which State used data and evidence to develop and justify its proposal to establish CSET, GAO assessed State's documentation against a relevant key practice for agency reforms compiled in GAO's June 2018 report on government reorganization. The Secretary of State should ensure that State uses data and evidence to justify its current proposal, or any new proposal, to establish the Bureau of Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies to enable the bureau to effectively set priorities and allocate resources to achieve its goals. While State disagreed with GAO's characterization of its use of data and evidence to develop its proposal for CSET, it agreed that reviewing such information to evaluate program effectiveness can be useful. State commented that it has provided GAO with appropriate material on its decision to establish CSET and has not experienced challenges in coordinating cyberspace security policy across the department while the CSET proposal has been in discussion. State concluded that this provides assurance that CSET will allow the new bureau to effectively set priorities and allocate resources. The documents State provided in response to GAO's requests, including a set of briefing slides and an action memo to the Secretary, did not sufficiently demonstrate that it used data and evidence in developing its proposal. In addition, State's comment that it has not experienced coordination challenges in recent years is not sufficient evidence that the potential for such challenges does not exist. Without evidence to support the creation of the new bureau, State lacks needed assurance that the bureau will effectively set priorities and allocate appropriate resources to achieve its intended goals. For more information, contact Brian M. Mazanec at (202) 512-5130 or MazanecB@gao.gov, or Nick Marinos at (202) 512-9342 or MarinosN@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Two Companies and Nine Individuals Indicted for Alleged Large-Scale Visa Fraud Employment Scheme
    In Crime News
    An indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia has been unsealed charging two businesses and nine of their officers and managers located across the country for their roles in an alleged conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and commit various fraud and criminal immigration offenses for profit.
    [Read More…]
  • Statement of Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
    In Crime News
    U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today made the following statement in honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:
    [Read More…]
  • Former City Officials Sentenced for Accepting Bribes in Exchange for Cannabis Dispensary Permit
    In Crime News
    Two California men were each sentenced today to two years in prison for accepting bribes in return for a guarantee of a city permit to open a commercial cannabis dispensary.
    [Read More…]
  • Zambia Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • Transportation Security: Federal Action Needed to Help Address Security Challenges
    In U.S GAO News
    The economic well being of the U.S. is dependent on the expeditious flow of people and goods through the transportation system. The attacks on September 11, 2001, illustrate the threats and vulnerabilities of the transportation system. Prior to September 11, the Department of Transportation (DOT) had primary responsibility for the security of the transportation system. In the wake of September 11, Congress created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) within DOT and gave it primary responsibility for the security of all modes of transportation. TSA was recently transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). GAO was asked to examine the challenges in securing the transportation system and the federal role and actions in transportation security.Securing the nation's transportation system is fraught with challenges. The transportation system crisscrosses the nation and extends beyond our borders to move millions of passengers and tons of freight each day. The extensiveness of the system as well as the sheer volume of passengers and freight moved makes it both an attractive target and difficult to secure. Addressing the security concerns of the transportation system is further complicated by the number of transportation stakeholders that are involved in security decisions, including government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, and thousands of private sector companies. Further exacerbating these challenges are the financial pressures confronting transportation stakeholders. For example, the sluggish economy has weakened the transportation industry's financial condition by decreasing ridership and revenues. The federal government has provided additional funding for transportation security since September 11, but demand has far outstripped the additional amounts made available. It will take a collective effort of all transportation stakeholders to meet existing and future transportation challenges. Since September 11, transportation stakeholders have acted to enhance security. At the federal level, TSA primarily focused on meeting aviation security deadlines during its first year of existence and DOT launched a variety of security initiatives to enhance the other modes of transportation. For example, the Federal Transit Administration provided grants for emergency drills and conducted security assessments at the largest transit agencies, among other things. TSA has recently focused more on the security of the maritime and land transportation modes and is planning to issue security standards for all modes of transportation starting this summer. DOT is also continuing their security efforts. However, the roles and responsibilities of TSA and DOT in securing the transportation system have not been clearly defined, which creates the potential for overlap, duplication, and confusion as both entities move forward with their security efforts.
    [Read More…]
  • Oil and Gas: Interior Should Strengthen Management of Key Data Systems Used to Oversee Development on Federal Lands
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The Department of the Interior (Interior) uses three key data systems to oversee oil and gas development on leased federal lands: the Automated Fluid Minerals Support System (AFMSS), Legacy Rehost 2000 (LR2000), and the Minerals Revenue Management Support System. Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) staff rely on data across these systems to carry out responsibilities such as processing permits for drilling wells and ensuring appropriate payments are made based on production. According to agency documents and officials, limited automated sharing of data among these systems is one of four challenges. Although the systems use some of the same information, such as lease and well numbers, they do not fully connect or communicate with each other, complicating oversight. For example, GAO calculated, based on agency estimates, that ONRR spends the equivalent of approximately 10 full-time employees in staff hours every year on conversion and error correction due to fragmented systems. Best practices call for coordinating and sharing data assets across federal agencies. Though Interior is developing replacement data systems, it does not have a finalized plan to facilitate comprehensive data sharing among them. Without such a plan, Interior risks continuing to spend staff time that could be better spent on other priorities. Example of Oil and Gas Data Shared between BLM and ONRR Data Systems Interior has not fully implemented leading practices in developing requirements to ensure the replacement systems meet user needs. Such practices have been found to improve development of federal data systems. BLM officials said they are developing replacement systems using an agile software development approach, which builds software incrementally based on users' requirements and continuously evaluates functionality, quality, and customer satisfaction. For example, BLM program offices responsible for developing systems to replace AFMSS and LR2000 stated that they meet quarterly with system stakeholders to prioritize and agree on features and functionality. However, the program offices do not have a defined process to implement the agile approach because it is not addressed in Interior's guidance on data system development. By updating the guidance to reflect how program offices can implement an agile development approach, Interior would have better assurance that its new data systems will function as intended to meet user needs and reduce budget and schedule risks. Why GAO Did This Study Development of oil and gas resources on federal lands helps supply the U.S. with energy and generates billions of dollars annually in revenues. To oversee this development, Interior relies on aging data systems, which it is planning to replace. GAO was asked to review the data systems Interior uses to oversee oil and gas development on federal lands and waters. This report (1) describes how Interior uses key data systems to oversee oil and gas development on federal lands, (2) examines challenges Interior faces in using these systems, and (3) evaluates Interior's implementation of leading practices in developing requirements for replacement systems. GAO reviewed documents, interviewed officials from federal and state agencies, visited BLM and ONRR offices in Colorado and New Mexico, and assessed Interior's implementation of relevant leading practices.
    [Read More…]
  • Defense Health Care: Actions Needed to Define and Sustain Wartime Medical Skills for Enlisted Personnel
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The military departments have not fully defined, tracked, and assessed wartime medical skills for enlisted medical personnel. The departments have defined these skills for 73 of 77 occupations. However, among other issues, the Army and the Air Force have not defined skills for numerous highly-skilled subspecialties that require additional training and expertise, such as Army Critical Care Flight Paramedics. Subspecialty personnel are key to supporting lifesaving medical care during deployed operations. The Army does not consistently track wartime medical skills training for enlisted medical personnel in its official system. The military departments are not able to fully assess the preparedness of enlisted medical personnel because, according to officials, they have not developed performance goals and targets for skills training completion. As a result, the military departments lack reasonable assurance that all enlisted medical personnel are ready to perform during deployed operations. The Department of Defense (DOD) has not fully developed plans and processes to sustain the wartime medical skills of enlisted medical personnel. While the Defense Health Agency (DHA) has initiated planning efforts to assess how the military departments' three primary training approaches sustain readiness (see figure), these efforts will not fully capture needed information. For example, DHA's planned metrics to assess the role of military hospitals and civilian partnerships in sustaining readiness would apply to a limited number of enlisted occupations. As a result, DHA is unable to fully assess how each training approach sustains readiness and determine current and future training investments. Approaches to Train Enlisted Medical Personnel's Wartime Medical Skills DOD officials have identified challenges associated with implementing its training approaches. For example, DOD relies on civilian partnerships to sustain enlisted medical personnel's skills, but DOD officials stated that licensing requirements and other issues present challenges to establishing and operationalizing civilian partnerships. DOD has not analyzed or responded to such risks, and may therefore be limited in its ability to sustain wartime medical skills. Why GAO Did This Study DOD has over 73,000 active-duty enlisted medical personnel who must be ready to provide life-saving care to injured and ill servicemembers during deployed operations, using their wartime medical skills. Senate Report 116-48 accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 included a provision for GAO to review DOD's efforts to maintain enlisted personnel's wartime medical skills. This report examines, among other objectives, the extent to which (1) the military departments have defined, tracked, and assessed enlisted personnel's wartime medical skills, and (2) DOD has developed plans and processes to sustain these skills and assessed risks associated with their implementation. GAO analyzed wartime medical skills checklists and guidance; reviewed plans for skills sustainment; and interviewed officials from DOD and military department medical commands and agencies, and nine inpatient military medical treatment facilities.
    [Read More…]
  • U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland’s Visit to Tripoli
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.