Cash bail policies are under fresh scrutiny
By: Amanda Hernández - November 16, 2023
States can’t figure out what to do about cash bail. The system — in which an arrested suspect pays cash to avoid sitting in jail until their court date and gets the money back when they appear — is deeply entrenched in the nation’s history as a way to ensure defendants return to face justice. […]
Politicians love to cite crime data. It’s often wrong.
By: Amanda Hernández - October 31, 2023
When Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his presidential campaign in May, he proudly told the nation that Florida’s crime rate in 2021 had reached a 50-year low. But really, DeSantis couldn’t say for sure. That’s because fewer than 1 in 10 law enforcement agencies in his state had reported their crime statistics to the […]
Sexual assault survivors can now track their rape kits in most states
By: Amanda Hernández - October 21, 2023
It can take hours for a sexual assault victim to undergo the multiple swabs, hair samples, blood and urine collections, and other invasive procedures of a sexual assault examination. And then it can take months, sometimes years, for investigators to process that evidence kit. But now, responding to demands from survivors and their advocates, more […]
After George Floyd’s murder, more states require release of police disciplinary records
By: Amanda Hernández - September 7, 2023
Faced with growing calls for the public release of police disciplinary records, lawmakers in almost every state have grappled with how to balance revealing law enforcement misdeeds and protecting officers’ privacy and safety. Fueled by public outrage over the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and other high-profile incidents of police […]
Stifling prison heat used to be just a Southern problem. Not anymore.
By: Amanda Hernández - August 23, 2023
While sweltering heat in prisons without air conditioning has long been an issue in the South, extreme heat waves worsened by climate change are expanding the problem into Northern states. In recent years, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin have seen extreme heat in prisons. Many of these states lack the necessary infrastructure for […]