We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does the United States Department of Justice do?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is primarily concerned with integrating the powers and authorities of the executive branch of the United States federal government into those of the judicial branch of the government. In general, the department acts to ensure that laws passed by the legislative branch are properly upheld, while also considering the judicial reviews of the Supreme Court and other aspects of federal law. It works to deal with crimes at a federal level of government, often dealing with those involving multiple states or acts of violence against the nation as a whole.

As dictated by the official mission statement of the United States Department of Justice, the DOJ exists to “enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law.” It also strives to “ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic” and to “ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.” Though the specific efforts to uphold these precepts may vary between one administration and another, the general goal is to ensure that the laws of the United States are properly upheld and administered equally to all US citizens.

The department is headed by the US attorney general, who is the chief law enforcement officer of the US and is appointed by the president as part of his or her Cabinet. Through its various agencies, the DOJ works to provide basic legal support to the president and the federal government. There are numerous offices and groups within the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Prisons, the US Federal Marshals, and the US Parole Commission. These various groups work to ensure that laws are upheld and oversee aspects of the legal system outside of the offices of the courts.

This work often includes establishing prisons throughout the nation and setting requirements and policies used for parole in federal cases. There are also groups and committees within the United States Department of Justice devoted to dealing with specific areas of legal justice. These groups include the Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates issues of misconduct by legal professionals; the Antitrust Division, which works to ensure fair trade among companies in the US; and the Office of the Solicitor General, which represents the United States in legal cases before the Supreme Court.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By GenevaMech — On May 25, 2011

I just wanted to add that the United States Department of Justice has another very important function. The USDOJ protects the civil liberties of every American, especially those who do not have the means to protect or represent themselves. This is accomplished through the Civil Rights Division, which was created as a branch of the USDOJ in 1957.

The division was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1957 in response to the turmoil in the nation over obtaining civil rights. The division upholds and enforces federal laws concerning discrimination against a person or group based on their religion, race, color, sex, familial status, disability, and national origin (I think that is all of them).

By Comparables — On May 23, 2011

@Babalaas- The United States Attorney General is in Charge of the Department of Justice, which is also responsible for representing the federal government in federal court cases. Within the department of justice is the United States Attorney's Office, which is comprised of 94 United States Attorneys and a number of deputy attorneys underneath them. Each of the U.S. Attorney’s controls a district and handles cases within their district.

A deputy attorney will try smaller cases that are handled in federal district courts. Larger cases will be tried by the US District attorney him or herself.

If a case is important enough to warrant a review by the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General's office will defend the federal government’s position. The solicitor general is appointed by the president, and is essentially the deputy to the Attorney General.

By Babalaas — On May 22, 2011

What a great article. I never really knew what the role of the Department of Justice was until I read this article.

Is the department of justice responsible for solving problems between states and branches of the federal government? I ask because I always hear about disputes between the federal government and states over things like pollution, immigration, and election issues. When these issues go before the state, does justice department represent the interests of the federal government?

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.