Public Safety

The Supreme Court held 6-3 in Montgomery v. Louisiana that juvenile offenders sentenced to life in prison without parole before Miller v. Alabama (2012) was decided may have their sentences reviewed. In Miller v. Alabama the Court held that a juvenile may not be sentenced to life in prison without parole “absent consideration of the juvenile’s special circumstances in light of the principles and purposes of juvenile sentencing.” The Court suggested that rather than relitigating sentences states may allow relevant juvenile offenders to be eligible for parole.      

The Act requires that in the event of a data security breach information holders are to contact anyone whose data may have been accessed by an unauthorized person. Additionally, this Act requires that cloud computing service providers will not process student data without parental permission.

Each year, millions of students are removed from their classrooms for disciplinary reasons, mostly for minor discretionary offenses. Disciplinary removals may be appropriate in situations in which a student poses an immediate safety risk to himself/herself or others on a school campus. But when such removals are administered for minor misconduct, they are often detrimental to students’ academic and behavioral progress. Research, including the groundbreaking Breaking Schools’ Rules study conducted by The Council of State Governments’ Justice Center, demonstrates that exclusionary disciplinary actions increase a student’s likelihood of falling behind academically, dropping out of school, and coming into contact with the juvenile justice system. A disproportionately large percentage of disciplined students are youth of color, students with disabilities, and youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. In response, states across the country are passing legislation that limits the number of students who are removed from school for disciplinary reasons and provides more supportive responses to misbehavior. In 2014, the CSG Justice Center also released the School Discipline Consensus Report, which provides state and local government officials with a comprehensive roadmap for overhauling their approach to school discipline.

The Act provides that a person convicted of rape in which a child was born as a result of the offense shall lose parental rights, visitation rights, and rights of inheritance with respect to that child; provides for an exception at the request of the mother, and provides that a court shall impose on obligation of child support against the offender unless waived by the mother and, if applicable, a public agency supporting the child.

Several states have adopted registries to identify certain caregivers involved in adult abuse cases.

The Act makes “non‐consensual dissemination of private sexual images,” otherwise known as “revenge porn” a Class 4 felony. It is a crime to knowingly post sexually explicit photos, video, voice recordings, etc. of another person online without the person’s consent. Revenge porn is a growing problem due to increased use of social media and other technology. Posts are sexual exploitation and often include names, addresses, e‐mail addresses and other information that compromises the safety of victims and their families. The Act includes exceptions for telecommunications and law enforcement and voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings.

The UAPRHT is a comprehensive law directed against human trafficking. It provides the three components necessary for ending human trafficking: comprehensive criminal penalties; protections for human-trafficking victims; and public awareness and prevention methods.

The Uniform Collateral Consequences of Conviction Act addresses the penalties and disqualifications that individuals face incidental to criminal sentencing. The Act's provisions are largely procedural, and are designed to rationalize and clarify widely accepted policies and practices.

The Act allows non-violent crimes committed by victims of human trafficking to be expunged. Victims charged with non-violent offenses may make a motion in the court to expunge the offense after 60 days of being charged. If the court finds that the offense occurred because the individual was a victim of human trafficking the charges may be dismissed with prejudice.

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, or JJDPA, contains provisions that limit detention, mandate service provision and provide guidelines for status offenders who violate a valid court order, or VCO. And over the past several years, many states have passed additional legislation to decriminalize status offenses—crimes that are only illegal because of the offender’s age. A wide range of behaviors may be considered status offenses (laws related to status offenses vary by state), including truancy, running away from home, curfew violations, being beyond a parent or guardian’s control, and underage consumption of alcohol or tobacco. Some states have integrated status offender changes into larger juvenile justice reform legislation.

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