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Cannabis Overview: Connecticut Becomes the 18th State to Regulate

CannabisAlongside regulating cannabis, Connecticut Senate Bill 1201 amends police officer drug stops by land and sea and allows medical patients to grow cannabis at home. Some aspects of the law do not take effect immediately, but those 21 and older will be able to recreationally use cannabis starting on July 1. NCSL’s Cannabis Overview has more information on actions in all 50 states.

Data Experts from CUNY-ISLG and the JFA Institute Measure Public Safety Impacts of Reform Strategies Before and During the Pandemic

In 11 Safety and Justice Challenge jurisdictions, jail populations declined to historic lows and total reported crime was 22% lower in December 2020 when compared to December 2019. Read the CUNY-ISLG report to learn about public safety outcomes across the sites remaining relatively constant before and after the implementation of reforms. The JFA Institute report shows that jail populations, crime and arrests all declined after implementation of strategies in response to the pandemic.

NCSL Base Camp 2021 | Protecting the Protectors? Changes to Qualified Immunity for Police

Federal qualified immunity protects law enforcement officers from paying for violations of constitutional rights — but state and local governments almost always pay the price. Now, they’re taking action. Legislatures are creating state claims to limit applicability of qualified immunity and authorize personal liability insurance. Join us Aug. 3-5 at NCSL Base Camp to learn what it means for state and local budgets and the impact of potential federal action. Learn more>>

New Briefing Series on Criminal Justice Budgeting

This new series of briefs looks at opportunities for policy changes that can be fiscally beneficial while still ensuring public safety and encouraging successful outcomes for individuals involved with the justice system. Areas of focus include reducing admissions to prisons and jails and shortening length of stay. Read more>>

In the News

  • A new U.S. Supreme Court decision restricts law enforcement power to enter a home without a warrant when pursuing someone for a minor offense.
  • Read five myths about criminal justice or test how well you understand today’s crime trends with this new quiz. Read what people who took the quiz got wrong about crime trends.
  • In Baton Rouge City Court, a new process led by the Rapid Case Assessment Team resolves 80% of cases within three days. Quick resolutions can reduce collateral consequences that are often created by even short jail stays such as loss of a job, children or a home.
  • In 2020, New York created a statutory right to record law enforcement activities. Recent court decisions have sidestepped the issue of whether individuals have a constitutional right to record officers.
  • Texas is set for a special session in July, and pretrial release changes are among the topics the governor will ask the Legislature to address.
  • South Carolina lawmakers debate adding millions to the state budget to improve treatment for mentally ill people detained in jails.
  • In Missouri, vehicle stop numbers were down in 2020, according to a new report from the state attorney general. Disparities were also noted in the report, with Black drivers being 71% more likely to be pulled over and 25% more likely to be arrested than white drivers.

The Cache