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First Appearance | May 2024

May 31, 2024

Improving Court Appearance Rates

Most people show up to court as required. But when people fail to appear at a hearing, it can have serious consequences and can impact court backlogs. This new snapshot covers five things to know about failure to appear and has five examples of how states are trying to improve court appearance.

NCSL: Pretrial Release Toolkit

Policing Policy Legislation

Get a quick snapshot of the most recent trends in policing legislation, including training, certification and decertification, as well as data collection and transparency.

NCSL: Policing Legislation Database

Mental Health Workforce Toolkit

Discover a wealth of insights and initiatives aimed at transforming mental health care across diverse U.S. communities and workplaces. Gain valuable perspectives on the urgent need to address provider shortages in behavioral health services and innovative approaches to expanding workplace care and support. Delve into state strategies targeting underserved communities, and learn about the Mental Health Matters National Task Force's transformative framework for promoting workforce mental health.

NCSL: The Legislative Primer Series: Front End Justice Mental Health

NCSL on the Road

Earlier this month, NCSL staff and lawmakers from three states attended the Safety and Justice Challenge Network Meeting in Houston. The Safety and Justice Challenge is a network of cities, counties and states, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, working to change the way the nation thinks about and uses jails. Participating jurisdictions range from largely rural jurisdictions with smaller populations to some of the country's largest cities and counties, including New York City and Los Angeles County. NCSL staff Amber Widgery was joined by Oregon Rep. Tawna Sanchez, Kentucky Sen. Whitney Westerfield and Montana Sen. Barry Usher as presenters for the opening plenary session for more than 500 local stakeholders from participating sites across the country. The panel talked about how to best communicate with lawmakers, providing advice on getting in touch and when to reach out. The group also addressed building state-local relationships to address pressing issues, including behavioral health crisis, substance use and criminal justice data and transparency.

NCSL: State Legislators: Who They Are And How to Work with Them

Justice Counts Public Comment Opportunity

Our partners at Justice Counts are collecting feedback on their latest set of proposed metrics-Tier 2. Justice Counts is a national initiative headed by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, and The Council of State Governments Justice Center that seeks to improve accessibility and usability of criminal justice data across the country. Justice Counts is hosting a public feedback period for these proposed metrics that ends on June 25. Learn more about Justice Counts and give your feedback.

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