Public Safety

This legislation enacts a number of provisions about gang-related offenses. For example, it creates an offense for aspiring to commit or committing certain crimes as a member of a criminal street gang and it establishes penalties for directing the activities of street gangs. It also requires children who are arrested for committing crimes as gang members to participate in gang intervention programs. 
The Act enhances penalties for certain organized criminal activity committed in or around a gang-free zone and provides that a map from a municipal county engineer is admissible as evidence of a gang-free zone. It requires information about gang-free zones be included in the student handbooks or equivalent publications of public or private elementary or secondary schools and institutions of higher education and also be distributed to the parents and guardians of children who attend day-cares. 
It enables the state or another governmental entity to bring an action against a member of a criminal street gang for damages when the member violates a temporary or permanent injunction. A district, county, or city attorney or the attorney general can sue to recover actual damages, civil penalties, and court costs and fees. 
The legislation makes the property of a criminal street gang or its members subject to seizure under certain conditions. Money received for damages or as a civil penalty must be used to benefit of the community or harmed neighborhood. 
It authorizes a court to impose electronic monitoring on a member of a criminal street gang as a condition of granting community supervision. The bill authorizes a parole panel to impose on a member of a criminal street gang who is a repeat offender electronic monitoring as a condition of release on parole or mandatory supervision. 
The Act establishes criteria for including evidence of membership in a criminal street gang intelligence database and allows that information to be retained for five years. 
The legislation also provides for the creation of a state anti-gang grant program to support regional, multidisciplinary approaches to combat gang violence. 
 
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, organized retail theft losses have amounted to as much as $30 billion. It is a growing problem for retailers, manufacturers and distributors in this state and throughout the United States. Organized retail theft is committed by professional theft rings which move across communities and states to pilfer merchandise from supermarkets, chain drugstores, independent pharmacies, mass merchandisers, convenience stores, warehouses and transporters, then resell that merchandise in venues including the Internet, at flea markets and to the stores from which it was stolen. Popular targets include infant formula, skin care products, heartburn medications and shaving products. 
This SSL draft Act is based on Pennsylvania HB 1720, which became law in 2010. This draft legislation creates penalties for organized retail theft as a felony of the second or third degree, depending upon the retail value of the stolen merchandise. 
A 2009 SSL draft Act entitled Organized Retail Crime allows for the amount of goods stolen to be aggregated into one charge before a defendant goes to trial. That Act also allows grouping multiple offenses together to meet a threshold that imposes stiffer charges on people who commit organized retail theft. The legislation requires establishments which accept large amounts of items for resale to make a reasonable attempt to determine if the items are stolen. The 2009 SSL draft is based on Delaware HB 121, which was enacted into law in 2007. 
The 2008 SSL draft Act entitled Organized Retail Theft creates three crimes. One addresses theft of property with a value of at least $250 from a mercantile establishment with intent to resell. Another makes it a crime to possess stolen property from a mercantile establishment with a value of at least $250. The third addresses theft of property from a mercantile establishment when the person leaves through an emergency exit, uses a device designed to overcome security systems, or commits theft at 3 or more mercantile establishments within 180 days. Finally, that Act adds theft with intent to resell and organized retail theft to a list of offenses that can be “criminal profiteering” when punishable as a felony and by imprisonment for more than one year. The 2008 SSL draft is based on Washington Chapter 277 of 2006. 
 

This Act directs public safety agencies to establish and use a database of information about people with disabilities or special needs to help such agencies respond more effectively to such people. 

This Act defines harassment, intimidation, and bullying. It requires schools to implement bullying prevention programs. It requires school principals appoint anti-bullying specialists for their schools and it mandates forming school safety teams for each school.
This legislation requires teachers, school board members, school leaders, and other education personnel to get training about recognizing and preventing harassment, intimidation, and bullying by students. It addresses reporting such incidents to a district board of education, on school report cards, and by the state department of education. It requires the state department of education to develop guidance documents explaining how complaints about harassment, intimidation, and bullying must be resolved.
This legislation requires public institutions of higher education to adopt a policy in the code of student conduct prohibiting harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
The legislation creates a Bullying Prevention Fund within the department of education to provide grants to train school personnel about preventing harassment, intimidation, and bullying in schools. 
 

Does GIS—geographic information system—sound too much like techno babble? Well, thousands of Virginia emergency management officials use the technology all the time. In fact, it often is the difference in making a quick, emergency decision to save lives and property versus scrambling to get all the necessary information in a crisis. Virginia uses GIS mapping combined with real-time data in its intuitive Virginia Interoperability Picture for Emergency Response program, nicknamed VIPER.

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles had a problem. In 2005, federal regulations required all convictions and tickets for commercial drivers to be entered into the Bureau of Motor Vehicles computer system within 30 days. Few courts in the state were sending their information electronically. Most of them were either faxing or mailing in rulings. That meant 10,000 paper orders coming in each week had to be entered by a clerk into the bureau’s computer system.

By a margin of just 4,341 votes, Arizona voters approved a measure that will legalize medical marijuana use for people with certain chronic or debilitating conditions.  The measure started out losing by about 7,200 votes on Election Day, but the gap gradually narrowed in the following 10 days, as provisional and mail-in ballots were counted.

Under Proposition 203, licensed physicians could recommend medical marijuana to patients with debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and...

An Indiana proposal would require medical professionals to pass a criminal background check in order to practice in the state.

On November 4th, the Council of State Governments Justice Center held a congressional staff briefing to highlight the work being done nationwide to reduce recidivism. Experts from the CSG Justice Center, the Urban Institute, and the U.S. Department of Justice discussed the growing body of research identifying practices effective in reducing recidivism.

California voters soundly defeated Proposition 19, which would have allowed people 21 and older to possess, grow and transport marijuana for their personal use.  Medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot in three states also fared badly.

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