Pretrial diversion programs are effective. And expensive for participants.

Courts often charge high fees for people to get into programs that allow them to avoid prison. Alabama's Jefferson County is trying a different approach.

Freedom Monument Sculpture Park in Montgomery to honor victims of slavery

The park features sculptures and wall with 122,000 surnames of the 4.7 million people formerly enslaved recorded in the 1870 Census.

GOP attorneys general charge into battle over state election rules

If the 2024 election is contested, Republican AGs look well-placed to push conservative legal arguments that could directly influence court decisions and infiltrate the broader public debate, experts say.

More places install drop-off boxes for surrendered babies. Critics say they’re a gimmick.

States began passing so-called safe haven laws more than two decades ago. But critics argue that however well-intended, baby boxes don't address the real problems facing parents and newborns.

New voter roll system unveiled after ERIC withdrawal

Alabama debuted a new system to manage the state’s registered voter rolls, completing a goal to replace the Electronic Registration Information Center system. Observers said the state seemed to simply be creating a newer version of the system it left behind.

Connect with state & local government leaders

The Fee Trap: Why Alabama’s local governments can’t shake fines and charges

The state’s tax caps mean governments have to turn to charges to keep running. It may not be sustainable.

A Campaign to Counter Christian Nationalism in State Politics

At a time when many Republicans appear increasingly willing to blur the lines between church and state, the Freedom From Religion Foundation wants to convince politicians that secular voters constitute a large and growing bloc.

The States and Counties Taking Russian Vodka Off Liquor Store Shelves

Removing Russian-made products from government-run stores “is just the right thing to do,” one official said.

US Cities Where Rents are (Surprisingly) Going Down

Rents in a number of major metropolitans from coast to coast fell during the past year, although rents are trending upward overall, according to a new report.

The Best and Worst States for Health Care

Massachusetts ranks as the best state for health care while Alabama ranks as the worst, according to a report.

Mental Health Teams Increasingly Dispatched to Answer 911 Calls

Clinicians are showing up in situations once handled by police. There are signs the efforts are leading to fewer arrests and helping to connect people in crisis with needed services.

The Best and Worst States for LGBTQ+ People

Nevada ranks as the best state for LGBTQ+ residents while Alabama comes in last, according to a report.

Supply of Antibody Drugs Could Drop in Some States as Feds Take Over Distribution

The Biden administration announced the new policy after a handful of states, most of them with low vaccination rates, accounted for nearly three-fourths of orders for the Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatment.

Hunting Destructive Feral Hogs Saves Livestock and Property—and Provides ‘Excellent Table Fare’

Hunters in Alabama can now legally hunt wild pigs at night, an additional method of controlling the destructive invasive species.

Lowest Rates, Highest Hurdles: Southern States Tackle Vaccine Gap

"It's not a Covid vaccine thing. It's a Mississippi thing."

Report: Grocery Taxes Impede Food Security for Low-income Americans

About two-thirds of all U.S. counties tax grocery foods, which creates “serious burdens” for the families living at or below the poverty line, according to a Cornell University study.

Vaccination Outreach Shifts as Demand Drops in Some States

Nationwide, state and local health agencies are coming up with a variety of new strategies to persuade people to get vaccinated against Covid-19

What’s at Stake in Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, Union Vote: Five Questions Answered

COMMENTARY | In a way, the outcome isn’t the point. Union leaders are hoping the election itself – and Amazon’s aggressive efforts to persuade employees to vote “no” – illustrate labor law’s current weaknesses.

This Billionaire Governor’s Coal Companies Owe Millions More in Environmental Fines

The richest person in West Virginia, who is also the state’s governor, owns coal companies that routinely violate environmental laws. Latest filings say the companies owe over $3 million for not complying with a major water pollution settlement.