The NCSL Blog

Civil and Criminal Justice

01
Microsoft Pulls Back Curtains on Cybersecurity for Lawmakers' Visit

With states collecting a vast amount of data, the risk of a breach or exposure is imminent and lawmakers are determining how to respond. This past December, 26 legislators and legislative staff from 11 states headed to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., to learn more about the threats states face and what can be done about them.

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31
What Might Justice Gorsuch Mean for States and Local Governments

The authors of "Searching for Scalia" evaluated who on President Donald Trump’s list of potential nominees to replace Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court would be most like Scalia—the originalist, the textualist, and, most important, the conservative. The winner: Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch! 

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31
Preventing Opioid Misuse: Legislative Trends and Predictions

As overdose deaths from opioids—including prescription drugs—continue to rise, strategies to confront the epidemic are likely to stay at the forefront during the 2017 legislative sessions.

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12
Seeking State and Federal Answers to Opioid Addiction

Enough opioid prescriptions are being written to supply every person in America and 10 million Americans are likely misusing them in ways other than pain relief

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09
Who Should Regulate Drones?

A diverse panel of federal, state and industry experts gathered in a session of the NCSL Capitol Forum on Thursday to discuss and debate what the proper role for states and the federal government is with regards to regulation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS/drones).

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28
A Call to Shift the Nation's Thinking About Youth Prisons

The National Institute of Justice, in collaboration with Harvard Kennedy School’s Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, released a new report last month with recommendations for policymakers to take a bipartisan approach to replace the nation’s reliance on youth prisons.

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14
Marijuana Reform Marches On

State marijuana policy reform surged forward on Election Day with voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, approving adult-use recreational marijuana, while voters in Arizona disapproved.

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28
SCOTUS Takes 9/11-related Immunity Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide cases accusing federal government officials at the highest levels of mistreating people investigated for possible terrorist connections after 9/11. Like all qualified immunity cases, the outcome will affect state and local governments. 

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24
New Mexico Voters Will Decide Bail Reform

New Mexico voters will decide on Election Day whether courts should be allowed to deny pretrial release to the state's most dangerous offenders.

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08
States Rethink Drug Sentencing

More than a third of states have amended crime classes or penalties for drug offenses in the last five years.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.