In 2017, Protect Our Defenders (POD) published a groundbreaking report that brought substantial and persistent racial disparities in the military justice system to light. POD’s report, based on information obtained through a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, led Congress to mandate an investigation into racial disparities and data collection in the U.S. military. The subsequent investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed widespread racial disparities first identified by POD. The 2019 GAO report concluded that the military failed to identify and address the causes of such disparities. In 2020, Congress directed the DoD to transform how the military tracks, monitors, investigates, and addresses racial disparities in the justice system.
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