Public Safety

In response to the tragic death of a child in foster care in Wisconsin, the state has moved aggressively to improve it's child-welfare system.   The state has also targeted fraud in its state-financed childcare system.

Despite numerous efforts at all levels of government, policymakers continue to struggle to identify and implement effective policies and programs that address the myriad issues related to sexual offenders and their crimes. Complex issues around sentencing, community supervision and re-entry of sexual offenders into the community remain critical challenges for state lawmakers.

The cost of substance abuse and addiction is staggering— hitting state budgets hard.  Alternative methods of managing substance abuse can pay off for states.  States’ fiscal crises have simultaneously provided opportunities to develop new strategies for substance abuse programs and forced funding decreases for successful programs.

State eNews Issue #38 | January 20, 2010
 

Kentucky has a pretty good program for monitoring the dispensation of prescription drugs.

The Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system—or KASPER for short—requires anyone who writes a prescription in the state to report it to the system within seven days, said Dave Hopkins, KASPER program manager.

The Adam Walsh Act sets a minimum national standard for state sex offender registries and  notification laws and has the potential to overhaul sex offender laws across the nation. The act, which is divided into seven titles, calls for a more detailed, uniform and nationalized system of sex offender registries; addresses issues of child pornography, Internet safety and civil commitment; creates grants for electronic monitoring; and revises the Immigration and Nationality Act to address immigrants who are sex offenders.

In the 2007–2008 legislative biennium, state legislatures considered at least 1,500 bills related to sex offenders; at least 275 of those bills became law. Six states—Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Nevada and Texas—did not hold a regular legislative session in 2008.

State eNews Issue #37 | January 6, 2010

With the new year comes new funding opportunities for controversial needle exchange programs targeting injection drug users and meant to combat the spread of diseases—mainly HIV/AIDS—passed  through dirty needles.

Some states such as New York have hosted these needle swaps for years, praising their ability to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne diseases by providing clean syringes to...

The Council of State Governments encourages lawmakers to investigate the effects of human trafficking in their own states and act to pass legislation that will address these activities

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges the Congress and the administration work with CSG’s members on developing alternatives to REAL ID, such as PASS ID, that will allow states to actively participate in the development and implementation of a more secure and sustainable DL/ID system.

NOW BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges the Congress and the administration to work with CSG and CSG’s members as PASS ID moves through the legislative process to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that the legislation includes increased privacy protections, minimizes the cost burden to states, and continues ongoing and substantive stakeholder coordination.

The Kentucky Re-entry Hotline, which provides support to people fresh out of prison, was one of eight national Innovations Awards in 2009 from The Council of State Governments.

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