DeWitt currently works as a Washington, D.C. management consultant for public safety and national security agencies drawing on more than 40 years of public service. He co-founded Lafayette Group with partner Scott Green and their firm celebrated its 20th year in 2014. DeWitt studied criminology at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and is a graduate of Stanford University. He rose from deputy sheriff to Director of the Justice Division for Santa Clara County, leaving his post in Silicon Valley in 1984 to become a Fellow at the Department of Justice, where he was responsible for corrections and law enforcement programs. Assigned to the White House by the Department of Justice in 1989, he was later appointed to the Domestic Policy Council and made Director of Border Security. DeWitt was responsible for a task force investigation of terrorist threats and border security. After serving at the White House for a year he was nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Director of the National Institute of Justice.
DeWitt has served as a Staff Analyst for the Community Development Study project at Stanford University, conducting research into urban poverty and crime in San Francisco. He was responsible for criminal justice and police-community relations while assigned to the San Francisco Police Department. DeWitt prepared reports for improvement of conditions in the Mission District and participated in police training programs.
He was also in the United States Marine Corps NROTC and PLC from September 1968 until his honorable discharge in January 1971.
As a deputy for the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, DeWitt had general law enforcement duties as a sworn peace officer. He was assigned to patrol, detention, court security, and community relations functions. He worked in jail facilities, served as bailiff, transported prisoners, and made presentations to community groups on crime prevention.
DeWitt was appointed as a staff analyst at the Regional Criminal Justice Planning Board, where he worked under the authority of an intergovernmental body on law enforcement, courts and corrections programs with the many city and county justice agencies in Silicon Valley.
When the crime board became part of county government, DeWitt was appointed Director of Justice Services for Santa Clara County, a jurisdiction of 1.3 million people with an annual budget of more than one billion dollars, DeWitt was responsible for a major expansion of jail facilities during rapid growth of the California inmate population. He oversaw the design and construction of multiple major correctional facilities and implemented alternatives to incarceration. He also developed new corrections programs, jail management system, and supervised construction of jails and courts, totaling over $100 million, and established court diversion programs, prisoners in public service, career criminal prosecution unit, automated crime laboratory, court calendaring system, and an automated citation system.
During this period, he was appointed by the National Institute of Corrections as an expert and taught classes during the early 1980s at the National Academy of Corrections on how to manage jail and prison populations, as well as planning and construction new facilities. Lectures have included jail population management, alternatives to incarceration, finance techniques, and planning of new facilities. DeWitt wrote a number of reports published by the Department of Justice including a series on jail and prison issues as well as a National Directory. He served as Project Director for a comprehensive initiative on justice issues and corrections. In this position, he conducted policy studies for improvements in the criminal justice system, as well as research in adult corrections, including construction of jail and prison facilities.
DeWitt also served as an Expert for the Office of Policy Development.
DeWitt was assigned by the Department of Justice to the White House, where he was responsible for a classified task force report on border security to enhance coordination between domestic policy and national security agencies. He was appointed by the White House to serve as Director of Border Security. DeWitt also supported Domestic Policy Council, and reviewed the first National Drug Control Strategy. While at the White House he coordinated policy issues with the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Defense, as well as the intelligence community.
DeWitt was then nominated by the President in 1990 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become Director of the National Institute of Justice. He approved hundreds of grants to law enforcement agencies to demonstrate innovations in policing that are operational today. Programs to strengthen the nation’s justice system included joint efforts with the FBI, Secret Service and interagency agreements with National Laboratories to foster new technologies, communications, and information systems.
He was authorized by Congress to provide technical support and Federal funding to law enforcement agencies, manage crime prevention programs, and develop law enforcement technology and improvements to the Nation’s justice system. The Director advises the Attorney General, and exercises sole and final authority over Federal grants and contracts for more than 500 active projects. DeWitt was responsible for national publications and conferences of the DOJ. DeWitt developed and authorized many policy and technology projects still underway at the Department of Justice. Also in this position, he developed and executed reorganization plan, including new Technology and Evaluation Divisions, and established initiatives on corrections, gangs; counterterrorism; information systems for police; DNA fingerprinting and evidence systems; police use of force; environmental crime; non-lethal weapons; stalking; and white collar crime. He also created and managed national plan to implement community policing.
DeWitt was among the first to develop and fund programs on neighborhood or community policing, establishing a model precinct in New York City with then Commissioner Lee P. Brown to demonstrate the benefits of the new approach. These efforts were greatly expanded during the Clinton Administration and a new division was established at the Department of Justice for this purpose.
Use of Force
Following controversial incidents of police use of force, DeWitt sponsored a series of programs to improve police practices and policies. He awarded Federal grants to national police organizations to develop and implement new policies regarding use of force and weapons.
DeWitt established a Technology Division at NIJ and expanded support for law enforcement forensics such as a national DNA network and database. He also funded research and demonstration efforts for less than lethal weapons and drug testing methods, establishing a network of drug testing programs used to measure trends in drug abuse by criminals. DeWitt was responsible for standards and testing of police equipment that included body armor and when the NIJ firing range found that certain ballistic vests were penetrated by gunfire and failing, DeWitt issued bulletins to all U.S. police agencies. He then established a task force to advise the Department of Justice on body armor as a result of the controversy that ensued.
DeWitt left the Federal Government in 1993 and served as an Executive Consultant for the Police Foundation, where he planned and managed a national conference and developed a national center on police community relations and civil disorder. As an independent consultant funded by the Police Foundation, he provided management assistance to police and criminal justice agencies.
In 1994, DeWitt and partner Scott Green established Lafayette Group to provide management services and technical support for public safety and national security agencies. As the co-owner of the Lafayette Group, Mr. DeWitt oversees company services including the planning and design of technology programs, identification systems, surveillance and information systems, support for government agencies now includes communications services, law enforcement program development, technical documentation, and management of law enforcement operations. Areas of specialization include counter-terrorism, Federal and State police systems, narcotics enforcement, surveillance, and transfer of military/intelligence technologies to domestic applications. Lafayette Group contracts with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), White House Drug Policy Office, FBI, DEA, the Department of Defense, and DOJ.
For more than a decade, DeWitt has served as Policy Advisor for Major Cities Chiefs, the 67 largest police departments in the United States. Lafayette Group provides staff support for the Chiefs and DeWitt serves as their representative for legislative and executive agencies in Washington D.C. Representing the largest law enforcement agencies in the Nation, the Major Cities Chiefs engage Federal agencies on criminal investigations, counterterrorism, intelligence operations, communications, and Federal assistance programs.Major Cities Chiefs Association
International Association of Chiefs of Police
National Sheriffs Association
American Ditchley Foundation, Advisory Council
Attorney General's Commendation
U.S. Department of Justice
Confirmation by U.S. Senate
Honorable Charles B. DeWitt
National District Attorneys Association
Golden Key Award
American Jail Association
Resolution of Appreciation
National Sheriffs' Association
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, California
Justice System Advisory Board, Silicon Valley, California
Judges Joint Committee, Santa Clara County
Ohio's New Approach to Prison and Jail Financing
U.S. Department of Justice
Florida Sets Example with Use of Concrete Modules
U.S. Department of Justice
Building on Experience: A Case Study of Advanced Construction and Financing Methods for Corrections
U.S. Department of Justice
Community Policing in Seattle: a Model Partnership Between Citizens and Police
National Institute of Justice, 1992
NIJ/National Directory of Corrections Construction
California Tests New Construction Concepts
Oklahoma Prison Expansion Saves Time and Money
New Construction Methods for Correctional Facilities - Volume 2
Evaluation Plan: 1991