2015 CSG National Conference

Across the United States, 70 million adults are estimated to have some sort of criminal record. The vast majority of adults who are incarcerated return to the community, and many face multiple barriers to successful reentry, including finding and maintaining employment. There are two primary reasons individuals returning home from prison or jail struggle to find and keep a job: many people have minimal work experience and limited job skills; and policy and legislative barriers, coupled with employer reluctance to hire adults with criminal records, limit employment opportunities, even when they are qualified for the job or have been crime free for an extended period of time.

Best-selling author Hampton Sides called the 1879 voyage of the USS Jeannette, and the hardships of the men who aspired to reach the North Pole, one of the greatest survival stories of all time. Yet the story—now detailed in his most recent book, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette—fell through the cracks of history and was forgotten.

However, there is much to be learned from the USS Jeannette’s two-year drift through ice and the 92-day trek by 33 men and their dogs toward the coast of Siberia after the ship’s demise.

As health care costs continue to rise and the future of the federal government’s Medicaid matching formula is made uncertain by the upcoming election, states are looking for innovative ways to improve health care outcomes while controlling costs. Possible solutions and promising programs were presented at the Getting More Bang for the Buck session Dec. 11 at the 2015 CSG National Conference.

In October, the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, or CISA, 74-21. The bill is essentially an information-sharing bill, designed to allow companies that are hit by a hacker to share information—called “cyber threat indicators”—with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or DHS. DHS can then put out an alert, share suspicious code and warn other firms about the threat.

The House passed its own version of the bill—Protecting Cyber Networks Act—back in April.

For Idaho Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, co-chair of the CSG International Committee, learning proper protocol when traveling abroad has been an exercise in trial and error.

“It has been the learning experience for me to do things wrong, so that I could learn to do them right,” he told participants in the Found in Translation: Global Protocol for Foreign Delegations session, sponsored by the CSG International Committee.

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