Criminal Justice

More States Allow Residents With Felony Convictions to Vote

Nearly half the states in the U.S. now allow people previously convicted of felonies to vote.

The Five Best Movies About State or Local Government

The glitz! The glamour! The government officials! In honor of this weekend’s Oscar Awards, here are our team’s top picks depicting everything from municipal water wars to prominent politicians.

Criminal Justice Algorithms Still Discriminate

COMMENTARY | Proponents of algorithms as a solution to bias in criminal justice systems say they're dispassionate. "But algorithms can discriminate."

Republicans in Congress Move to Block Washington, D.C.'s Local Criminal Code Rewrite

The disagreement over changes to the district's sentencing guidelines reflects a nationwide debate. And while the move by House lawmakers to override D.C.'s authority has little chance of final approval, it has still upset local officials.

States are Stepping Up Prosecutions for Voter Fraud. But Who Gets the Harshest Punishment?

In a number of high-profile cases, women of color have been sentenced to time in prison — including Crystal Mason of Texas.

A Pennsylvania Prison Gets a Scandinavian-style Makeover

COMMENTARY | And shows how the U.S. penal system could become more humane.

Biden Calls on Governors to Pardon Marijuana Possession Offenses

He did so after issuing a blanket pardon for all federal convictions for simple possession of the drug.

Philadelphia Mayor's Ban on Guns in Parks and Rec Centers Criticized as ‘Meaningless’

Critics question whether Mayor Jim Kenney's executive order can be effective given state firearms laws. It comes after a parks and recreation worker was struck by a stray bullet and killed.

The Growing Movement to Halt Executions in Conservative States

Right-leaning activists are speaking out against the death penalty, saying capital punishment is morally wrong, fails to deter crime and is flawed in other ways as well.

Two Cities Took Different Approaches to Pandemic Court Closures. They Got Different Results

Did closing courts contribute to the resurgence in violent crime that began in 2020? What happened in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Wichita, Kansas, may provide clues.

In Pennsylvania, GOP State Lawmakers Look to Impeach Philadelphia District Attorney

Republicans in Harrisburg say crime goes “unchecked” under Larry Krasner, the city’s progressive top prosecutor

The Prosecutors Not Planning to Enforce Post-Roe Abortion Laws

In states like Texas and Tennessee, some local district attorneys say they’re not willing to pursue cases against women who get abortions, or doctors who provide them.

The Indictment of the Nation’s Longest-serving Legislative Leader

The federal prosecution of former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan is the latest, and biggest, development in a push to crack down on corruption in Chicago.

New Orleans Leans Into Data to Reduce Over Incarceration

A $474K grant will provide the city with data and analytic assistance to address racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal legal system.

Should Rap Lyrics Be Used as Evidence in Criminal Trials?

A proposal in the New York State Assembly would require prosecutors to meet stricter standards to use rap lyrics as evidence, a relatively common practice that in most states has gone unregulated.

Taking Race Out of Criminal Charges

Prosecutors in Yolo County, California, are attempting “race-blind charging” by using software to redact identifying information, including race and other descriptors, from police reports.

Surging Catalytic Converter Thefts Spur State Crackdowns

The pollution control devices contain precious metals worth thousands of dollars per ounce.

Reducing the Staggering Backlog of Court Cases

COMMENTARY | State and local leaders can tackle the massive backlog of criminal cases by expanding pretrial services, transforming indigent defense and embracing restorative justice processes.

Secretly Removing a Condom During Sex is Technically Legal. One State is Poised to Change That.

Lawmakers in California approved legislation to ban “stealthing.” If signed into law, the state would be the first to explicitly outlaw the practice.

Canceled Fines and Fees, $0 Cash Bail. Will Pandemic-era Criminal Justice Changes Stick?

A group that advocates for incarcerated people provides states and localities recommendations for keeping citizens who committed minor offenses out of jails and prisons.