Public Safety

Michigan to Automatically Expunge Some Criminal Records Under ‘Clean Slate’ Program

State officials will automatically allow for certain convictions to be expunged in an effort to remove hurdles to jobs and housing.

Critics Take Aim at State and Local ARPA Spending on Prisons and Jails

The American Civil Liberties Union is among those raising questions about federal Covid aid from the American Rescue Plan Act going to corrections projects.

How One City is Cutting Down Speeding in Its Municipal Fleet

Newly adopted technology has kept drivers within speed limits and reduced hard braking by more than a third, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said.

New Law Will Cap Phone Call Prices in Prisons and Jails

It marks a major win for advocates who have for years argued incarcerated people are getting overcharged for calls. But it will also crimp a revenue source for states and localities.

State AGs Urge US Supreme Court to Address Blocked Railroad Crossings

The problem of trains blocking roadways is getting worse and, according to 18 states, it can have life-threatening consequences.

Young Men Have Higher Risk of Gun Death in Some US Cities Than in War

In some U.S. ZIP codes, young men are more at risk of firearm-related injuries than military individuals deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, a study finds.

Marijuana Banking Reform Left Out of Year-End Spending Deal 

The proposed changes would have cleared a path for state-regulated marijuana companies to access banking services, instead of doing business primarily in cash.

How Technology Can Reduce the Emotional Toll on the Public Safety Workforce

COMMENTARY | Studies show that up to 24% of emergency telecommunication personnel exhibit PTSD symptoms. More attention and resources need to be dedicated to these workers to help alleviate the pressure.

Permitting Revamp and Pot Banking Left Out of Must-pass Defense Bill

In brokering the National Defense Authorization Act, congressional negotiators didn’t include a controversial overhaul of environmental permitting for energy projects, or provisions to open banking to state-regulated marijuana businesses.

Wildfires are Burning an Ever-larger Hole in State Budgets

New research looks at the fiscal pressure states are under dealing with the blazes and makes suggestions for funding improvements.

A City Seeks Digital Maps of Its Public Building Interiors

As original blueprints are no longer accurate, Aurora, Illinois, wants indoor, "digital twin" imaging to update records and increase public safety.

Police Facebook Pages Overreport Black Suspects

COMMENTARY | Police Facebook posts disproportionately highlight crimes involving Black suspects, research finds.

Political Violence in America is Not Going Away Anytime Soon

COMMENTARY | The rise in contemporary right-wing political extremism – and violence – can be traced back to events in the 1990s.

Fewer Car-Deer Crashes with Permanent Daylight Savings

COMMENTARY | Adopting permanent daylight saving time in the United States would reduce deer-vehicle collisions, report researchers.

Pit Bulls Went From America’s Best Friend to Public Enemy–Now They’re Slowly Coming Full Circle

COMMENTARY | Starting about three decades ago, multiple features of American life converged to inspire bans that made pit bulls outlaws. But breed-specific legislation does not make the public safer, it penalizes responsible owners and their pets.

Court Fights Begin Over Gun Bans in Places Like Subways and Bars

The legal wrangling comes after the Supreme Court placed new limits earlier this year on the restrictions states and localities can impose on where people can carry firearms. For now, it’s left to lower courts to hash out how that looks in practice.

A Major City Moves to Ban Right Turns on Red

It would be the first to do so in the U.S. in over 80 years. But other places are looking at similar restrictions to improve street safety.

Mental Health Crisis Teams Aren’t Just for Cities Anymore

In many cities, social workers and counselors are responding to mental health emergencies that used to be solely handled by police. That approach is spreading to rural areas even though mental health professionals are scarcer and travel distances are longer.

Mayors and Law Enforcement React to Police Funding Package

The U.S. House-passed legislation would provide new federal dollars for hiring officers and other initiatives. But it faces an uncertain path in the Senate.