State Legislators: Who They Are and How to Work With Them


A guide for criminal justice stakeholders

A Guide for Criminal Justice Stakeholders

Because of the variety and complexity of the policy issues before them, state legislators often rely on their staff, researchers, experts in the field, lobbyists, practitioners and community members to gather information and develop policies that address a need or respond to an opportunity (such as new federal funds).

State Legislators: Who they are and how to work with themLegislators have access to research through legislative staff or research organizations such as the National Conference of State Legislatures; however, they also rely on experts in the field—people like you—for information and firsthand perspectives about the effects of laws and public funding on  criminal justice programs. 

This guide is designed to: 

  • Help criminal justice stakeholders understand how state legislatures work and how state legislators gather information and develop policies related to the justice system.
  • Identify how people outside the state capitol—specifically, local criminal justice stakeholders or members of community-based organizations—can communicate effectively with their elected leaders and provide constructive input through the legislative process.


Additional Resources