The NCSL Blog

Civil and Criminal Justice

08
Cross-Branch Collaboration at the Front End of the Justice System

Solutions to some of the most difficult problems require collaboration. Judges, legislators, and government officials at all levels are working together to address the issue of burgeoning jail populations and specifically pretrial detention, which accounts for more than half of all jail inmates nationwide.

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29
States Making It Easier for Ex-offenders to Get Occupational Licenses

Want to become a barber or cosmetologist? You need a license in every state. Have a criminal record? In many states it's that much harder.

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26
Senate Committee Passes Legislation Reauthorizing the Department of Homeland Security

The Senate Homeland Security Committee has passed HR 2825, which would reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the first time since its inception in 2002.

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13
DOJ Actions to Improve School Security

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) steps to reduce school violence.

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22
Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Legislation Clears Key Hurdle in the Senate

While Congress has paid considerable attention to immigration and the budget so far in 2018, efforts to reform the federal criminal justice system also have made progress.

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21
Prisoner Loses Attorney’s Fees Dispute in the Supreme Court

The Prison Litigation Reform Act states that when a prisoner wins a civil rights case “a portion of the judgment (not to exceed 25 percent) shall be applied to satisfy” his or her attorney’s fees award.

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31
SCOTUS Gives Officers Immunity in House Party Arrests

In District of Columbia v. Wesby, the majority of the Supreme Court ruled D.C. police officers had probable cause to arrest individuals for holding a “raucous, late-night party in a house they did not have permission to enter.” 

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31
Can You Sue for Retaliatory Arrest if Probable Cause Existed?

If probable cause exists to arrest someone, should that arrestee be barred from bringing a First Amendment retaliatory lawsuit?

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26
Human Trafficking: See Something, Say Something

The covert nature of trafficking crimes means the public is often unaware that they can occur close to home, at their neighborhood store, and that businesses in their neighborhood may benefit from, or be used as conduits for, sex and labor trafficking. But there are plenty of  examples that showcase the power of public awareness is battling human trafficking.

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23
Vermont Becomes First to Legalize Marijuana by State Legislature

Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed HB 511 on Monday, which legalizes marijuana in the state.

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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.