Civil and Criminal Justice



COVID-19 and the Criminal Justice System: A Guide for State Lawmakers

COVID-19 has significantly affected the American criminal justice system. In particular, states have tried to reduce involvement with the justice system and limit person-to-person interactions, whether with law enforcement, in courts, in jails and prisons, or with community supervision officers. Read about these and other actions in our brief.


Image of LegisBrief publication

Principles of Effective Juvenile Justice Policy Update

In 2018, NCSL published the Principles of Effective Juvenile Justice Policy, the result of 11 months of work in 2017 by the NCSL Juvenile Justice Principles Work Group. Read both the original report and 2020 update.

Results Driven Governing


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Front-End Justice Resources

Read our overview on law enforcement, a state bill tracking database on law enforcement legislation, a report on police-mental health collaboration programs, and other front-end justice articles and reports.


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Corrections and Sentencing Resources

View Corrections and Sentencing topics, including how data analysis is driving justice reforms, criminal records and reentry laws, cannabis and employment, and our enactment database.


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Juvenile Justice Resources

Read information on juvenile justice topics, including racial and ethnic disparities, our 2019 year-end report, and listen to a podcast on COVID-19 and juvenile justice reform.


Tracking Policy

NCSL tracks many criminal justice hot topics like marijuana; human trafficking; juvenile life without parole; death penalty; drug crime policy and other issues.


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NCSL maintains criminal justice legislation and bill tracking databases. Check out the new community supervision and reentry resources.