First Appearance








From the States

  • In recent years, changes to state sentencing schemes have focused primarily on felony offenses. Now, lawmakers are turning their attention to lower-level offenses, such as misdemeanors. Learn about state legislative action in this area in NCSL’s brief: Misdemeanor Sentencing Trends.
  • Last year, NCSL took a group of legislators and legislative staff to Multnomah County, Ore., to learn about the Diane Wade House, a first-of-its-kind Afrocentric transitional housing program for justice-involved women. The house is now open and you can take a tour inside and learn more about the meeting.
  • Both the Missouri and Montana legislatures passed legislation this month related to court fines and fees. In Montana, nonpayment of fines, fees, and restitution can no longer result in a driver’s license suspension. A Missouri bill, prohibiting arrest based solely on failure to pay court costs, sits on the governor’s desk.
  • The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority released two web-based resources tools featuring evidenced-informed practices to address mental health and substance use disorders across the criminal justice system.
  • The California Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous opinion holding that state law allows judges to impose reasonable conditions of release for persons released on bail.

The Cache

In the News

  • "Criminal justice reforms dominated [the Colorado] legislative session,” with several bills passing with bipartisan support. Enactments included H.B. 1225, which prohibits monetary conditions of release for certain low-level offenses, and S.B. 191, which addresses rights of defendants released on bond.
  • The ACLU and A.L.E.C. teamed up in this op-ed to ask state legislators, courts, and agencies to work together to eliminate laws and policies that allow driver’s licenses to be suspended for reasons unrelated to traffic violations, including nonpayment of fines and fees. 
  • Nationwide incarceration rates are declining, but not for women—many of whom cannot afford monetary conditions of bail. Read about how the experiences of women in the criminal justice system differ from mens’.
  • Two former NFL offensive linemen are now serving their community as police officers. These Louisville Metro Police Officers hope to build trust between the community and law enforcement.
  • Listen in! This webinar provides an overview on the intersection between mental health disorders and the criminal justice system.
  • Watch! In Pennington County, S.D., a young adult diversion program is working so well the county wants to expand the program. 

Links to external websites and reports are for information purposes only and do not indicate NCSL’s endorsement of the content.

This newsletter was created with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.