Sierra Hatfield

Author Articles

On Dec. 7, state leaders will have the opportunity to discuss the benefits of early childcare, and why states should invest in making early childhood education affordable for working families, at a CSG 2018 National Conference session titled Working Families and the Struggle to Find Early Care and Education.
Albert Wat, senior policy director at the Alliance for Early Success, provided CSG with valuable insight on this critical issue. According to Wat, the cost of and the lack of access to quality childcare and education are the biggest struggles families face. Wat called the search for childcare an equity issue among low-income families.

As we enter election season, it's critical for voters to know the key issues of the day and where their representatives stand on them. That civic duty can be inhibited when the language of a legislative text becomes lengthy, ambiguous or just plain bad.
The complexity of the legal jargon found on voter ballots isn’t a new issue. Just last year, both Ballotpedia and political scientists from Georgia State University (GSU) conducted assessments to analyze just how complicated the average ballot reads. Both parties used the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, which measures how many words are in a sentence and how many syllables are in those words. Both studies found that the average ballot question requires at least some college-level education. Ballotpedia found that the average question required a graduate-level education.

States are facing problems with their correctional programs, including but not limited to issues of overpopulation and inadequate budgets. Some states, including North Dakota, have high ambitions to resemble the European prison system.  Other states, including Alabama, Massachusetts and Utah are taking small steps toward progressive prison reform to save taxpayer dollars and possibly save lives.

The Missouri River Correctional Center in North Dakota, a minimum-security prison known locally as The Farm, has started to focus...

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