Public Safety

Plea Bargaining Needs to be More Transparent, Report Argues

Widespread plea bargaining in the criminal justice system may be fueling racial inequities and leading innocent people to plead guilty, says a new report from the Vera Institute of Justice.

Millions Raised to Pay off Debts so Floridians with Criminal Records Can Vote

The money, partially raised by Mike Bloomberg, will go towards paying off the court fines and fees of thousands of people with criminal records, allowing them to vote in the upcoming election.

Justice Department Dubs New York, Seattle, and Portland as ‘Anarchist Jurisdictions’

The three cities were flagged for “permitting anarchy, violence and destruction” as part of the Trump administration’s bid to cut funding to cities where recent protests over racial injustice and police brutality have occurred.

Tennessee Using Federal Coronavirus Funds for Police Training

The state will spend $300,000 of its federal funding to assist local police agencies in training new recruits.

Sponsor Content

New Tools Help State and Local Governments Battle Ransomware, Other Big Disasters

When governments find themselves being ransomed, their choices are typically to pay, which will undercut their ability to deliver key services to their communities due to budget restrictions, or not pay, resulting in the immediate inability to serve their communities and the loss of key data that will inevitably plague them for years afterwards.

California Opens a Path to Professional Firefighting for Formerly Incarcerated People

In California, many wildfires are fought by incarcerated people trained to be firefighters. Their criminal records barred them from continuing in the field after release—until now.

Louisville Agrees to $12 Million Settlement and Police Reforms After Death of Breonna Taylor

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Minneapolis police making fewer traffic stops … Maryland needs to decide how to complete transit project after contractors leave … Private schools will get less CARES Act money than U.S. Department of Education wanted.

South Dakota AG Says He Thought He Hit a Deer, but Found Man's Body the Next Day

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Wisconsin Supreme Court decision keeps Green Party off presidential ballot and allows absentee ballots to be sent out … Reward offered to identify suspect in shooting that seriously injured Los Angeles sheriff deputies … Hurricane Sally rapidly intensifies as it nears Gulf Coast.

Death Toll Rises as Wildfires Burn Across West Coast

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | A federal appeals court says ex-felons will need to pay fines and restitution before they can get their voting rights back … Minneapolis City Council balks at temporary police precinct … Des Moines schools start virtual in violation of state order.

Oregon Wildfires Prompt Evacuation Advisories for About 500,000

About 1 million acres are burning in the state and people have been told to leave areas within 30 miles of Portland.

Rochester Police Leaders Step Down Over Handling of Daniel Prude Death

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Prisoners extorting Alabama prison inmates’ family members … San Francisco mayor condemns Burning Man beach gathering … Colorado AG launches airline investigation.

Protesters Sue Detroit, City Pledges to Countersue

Protesters against police brutality sued the city for the use of excessive force. The city’s top lawyer said he was “pleased to hear” of the lawsuit—because the city plans to countersue.

More People With Felony Convictions Can Vote, but Roadblocks Remain

Since 2016, at least nine states have restored voting rights to some people with felonies.

Teenager Charged With Homicide After Shooting at Kenosha Protest

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Hurricane Laura, pushing ‘unsurvivable’ storm surge, makes landfall in Texas and Louisiana … Former New York assembly speaker begins serving prison sentence … Idaho House votes to revoke Covid emergency declaration.

Anger Can Build a Better World

COMMENTARY | Black Lives Matter protests are not anti-American, but as American as one can get.

Second Night of Unrest in Wisconsin City After Police Shooting of Black Man

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | A look at local and state government ties to Idaho militias … Colorado interstate reopens after two-week wildfire closure … Connecticut city to name sewer plant after John Oliver.

Minnesota Lawsuit is Latest to Challenge a Face Mask Mandate

Across the country, state and local directives imposing face mask requirements have been met with repeated court challenges.

In One State, a Threat to Freeze Property Taxes in Cities That ‘Defund’ Police

The proposal from Texas’ governor and other Republicans in the state comes in response to cuts and other changes that Austin made to its police budget.

The Fun Police Should Stand Down

Social gatherings provoke moral indignation—but bringing in law enforcement will promote injustice, not reduce infections.

Dismiss Minor Misdemeanors During the Pandemic

COMMENTARY | The business-as-usual approach to minor offenses is immoral and dangerous.