The NCSL Blog

Civil and Criminal Justice

17
Increasing Collaboration Between Police and Mental Health Professionals

Law enforcement agencies and state lawmakers have been working to improve law enforcement responses and develop alternatives. Recent legislation has required or funded CIT training, authorized and funded crisis triage centers, and otherwise supported law enforcement efforts to deflect individuals with mental health needs away from criminal justice system involvement.

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16
Pros and Cons of Allowing Guns in Schools

Should guns be carried in schools? And if so, by whom? Teachers? Police officers? School resource officers? Should they be trained as police or school employees? Should urban/suburban schools be treated the same as far-flung rural districts? How do you deal with cultural and racial sensitivities? Should school districts have their own police departments?

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02
Supreme Court Focuses on Mootness in Gun Case

If you went to the Supreme Court today to check on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health, you were in luck. She asked the very first question (and many after) in oral argument in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York.

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27
Juvenile Probation, Civil Citation Programs Highlighted at Southern Region Site Visit

Florida’s civil citation program and a new juvenile probation paradigm that focuses on intervention and behavioral change were highlighted when lawmakers and legislative staff from eight southern states gathered in Savannah, Ga., in June for NCSL’s 2019 Juvenile Justice Southern Region site visit.

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08
A Term of Change on the Supreme Court

And if you think the last Supreme Court term was big (census, partisan gerrymandering), well, buckle up. 

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06
Finding Common Ground on Criminal Justice Reform

You never know where you will find a kindred spirit, especially on a contentious and polarizing issue like criminal justice reform.

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30

Mississippi and West Virginia recently signed legislation to remove the lifetime ban on public benefits for those formerly convicted of drug-related crimes. As of 2019, only South Carolina and Guam continue to prohibit drug felons from receiving public assistance. 

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23
POTUS Can’t Block Critics on Twitter, Says Federal Appeals Court

The decision, which affirmed the lower court’s ruling, may signal how First Amendment doctrine limits public officials’ use of social media in other contexts as well.

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17
New NCSL Report on Misdemeanor Justice

In a follow-up to NCSL’s brief on misdemeanor sentencing trends, the new report “Misdemeanor Justice: Statutory Guidance for Sentencing” looks at how statutes provide guidance in misdemeanor sentencing.

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02
Supreme Court to Tackle 'Bridgegate' Case

The basic question the U.S. Supreme Court will decide is whether the masterminds of “Bridgegate” committed fraud in violation of federal law. The more technical question is whether a public official “defrauds” the government of its property by advancing a “public policy reason” for an official decision that is not the subjective “real reason” for the decision.

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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.