Criminal Justice

One State May Become the First to Ban Law Enforcement Use of Genealogy Databases

A Utah state representative said he believes lawmakers are prepared to continue their “strong record of protecting individual privacy.”

A State Could Open Up a Window for Adult Sex Abuse Survivors to Sue Over Old Allegations

Legislation introduced in the New York state legislature would create a one-year period for people to file lawsuits in cases where the statute of limitations has expired.

Another State to Consider Chemical Castration for Sex Offenders

A new bill introduced in Tennessee mimics legislation passed last year in Alabama that would require chemical castration of those convicted of child sex offenses as a condition of parole.

Death Penalty Used by an Increasingly Small Number of States

Seven states executed 22 inmates this year, the second lowest number of executions since 1991.

In a County Jail, 'The Barracks' Aims to Give Veterans Resources and Hope

At the Gwinnett County Jail in Georgia, inmates who previously served in the military can choose to join a veterans-only housing unit that offers structure and tailored programming.

A New Proposal Envisions Federal Help for States and Localities to Reduce Prison Populations

The “People’s Justice Guarantee” suggests states repeal tough sentencing laws, while local governments eliminate cash bail for people awaiting trials.

A City Could Wipe Away 55,000 Old Warrants

More than 44,000 people in New Orleans have warrants for traffic violations and what advocates call “crimes of poverty.” City leaders say the system needs to be overhauled.

Closing the Gaps in State Sexual Assault Laws

North Carolina has been the only state where women can't revoke consent. Newly passed legislation could change that.

Employers Are Still Avoiding Former Inmates

Dozens of states and D.C. have restricted when companies can ask about job applicants’ criminal records—but many aren’t following the rules.

Why One City Offers Art Classes Instead of Court Dates for Low-Level Offenses

Since a diversion program, Project Reset, started in Manhattan, district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. says that prosecutions for low-level offenses have halved.

Featured eBooks

Have We Become Too Paranoid About Mass Shootings?

COMMENTARY | Over the course of your life, you’re far more likely to die in a car crash, in a fire, or by choking on food.

A Plan to Reduce Bench Warrants—By Text Message

After success in one county, Minnesota is rolling out a statewide program that sends reminders to defendants about their court appearances.

States Take on the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Native women in some communities are killed at a rate ten times the national average. In Wisconsin, tribal advocates and lawmakers are determined to figure out what can be done about it.

A Plan to Spruce Up Vacant Lots to Reduce Gun Violence

A program in Chicago that beautifies abandoned properties is aimed at providing work and reducing crime. But some local residents say more needs to be done to involve people in the neighborhood.

A State Will Require Civics Education in Prisons

The goal of the new Illinois law is to reduce recidivism, help former prisoners reintegrate into their communities, and boost voter turnout.

At least 25% of People in Jail Are Booked More Than Once a Year, Report Says

A new report sheds light on how many people are arrested and booked into jail several times per year, often because of mental health or substance abuse problems.

Leveraging Technology to Clear Criminal Records

Cook County, Illinois, will automatically expunge low-level convictions for marijuana offenses using software from Code for America.

Cities See Some Progress in Building Trust in Police, Report Says

New analysis of an initiative meant to increase trust between police and communities shows moderate success—and the potential for greater gains in the future.

New State Laws Give People More Time to Report Rape or Sexual Assault

COMMENTARY | In 2019 alone, 20 states and the District of Columbia passed sexual assault reporting reforms.