Public Safety

The Border Legislative Conference, a program of The Council of State Governments West, released a report, “The U.S.-Mexico Border Economy in Transition,” at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. The report is the result of four Regional Economic Competitiveness Forums held along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014 to collectively generate a shared vision and policy recommendations to strengthen economic competitiveness. The report lays out the major issues involved in border region economic development, compiles the many innovative ideas developed at the forums and weaves them into a series of policy recommendations that draw on the experiences of those who understand the border best: the individuals who live in border communities and who cross back and forth between Mexico and the United States as a part of their daily lives.

In 2012 in Miller v. Alabama the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states may not mandate that juvenile offenders be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.  The question in Toca v. Louisiana was whether Miller is retroactive; that is, whether it should apply to those convicted before the case was decided. 

Toca has been dismissed as George Toca has been released from prison after pleading guilty to two counts of armed robbery in exchange for his murder conviction being vacated. ...

The CSG Justice Center, in partnership with Texas A&M University, released a study commissioned by Texas state leaders interested in understanding the impact of the state's reforms of its juvenile justice system. This unprecedented study compares the impact on youth under community supervision versus incarceration in state correctional facilities. Closer to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice Reforms, which draws on an unprecedented dataset of 1.3 million individual case records spanning eight years, shows youth incarcerated in state-run facilities are 21 percent more likely to be rearrested than those who remain under supervision closer to home. When they do reoffend, data show that youth released from state-run secure facilities are three times more likely to commit a felony than youth who are under community supervision.

In City & County of San Francisco v. Sheehan the Supreme Court will decide whether, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), police must accommodate a suspect’s mental illness when arresting him or her.  The State and Local Legal Center’s (SLLC) amicus brief argues no because no conclusive evidence indicates that...

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High-profile incidents involving police officers and the deaths of civilians have led to the passage of a new law in Wisconsin and creation of a state task force in Ohio.
 

This act amends Tennessee’s fetal homicide law to allow the prosecution of a pregnant woman for the illegal use of a narcotic drug, if her child is born addicted or harmed by the drugs she took during her pregnancy. The charge of assault is a misdemeanor offense, but if the child is harmed, aggravated assault, with a 15-year maximum prison term, could be charged. That a woman is enrolled in long term drug addiction treatment before the child is born, remains in the program after delivery and successfully completes the program is an affirmative defense under the law. The law is set to expire on July 1, 2016.

This act provides allows a judge to use discretion when sentencing a veteran or servicemember, who has been diagnosed with a mental illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder and who is charged with a non-violent offence to undergo a counseling/treatment program rather than be sent to jail. However, if an individual does not complete the program they can then be sentenced to jail time.

With passage of this act, Montana became the first state to require state and local government entities to obtain a probable-cause warrant before remotely engaging personal electronic devices. Agencies may obtain location information in the case of emergencies or if an electronic device is stolen or if an individual gives authorized permission to access their location information.

This act relates to investigations of deaths involving a law enforcement officer. It requires the use of outside investigators in the event of a police-related death of a citizen, and requires reports of custody death investigations to be publicly released if criminal charges are not filed against the officers involved. In addition, officers must also inform victims’ families of their options to pursue additional reviews.

This act requires a provider of wireless telecommunications to provide call location information concerning the telecommunications device of a user to a law enforcement agency in certain circumstances; requires a provider of wireless telecommunications to submit its emergency contact information to the Department of Public Safety; requires the Department to maintain a database of such emergency contact information; authorizes the Department to adopt regulations; and provides other matters properly relating thereto.

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