News and Announcements


Press Releases

Nebraska Gov. Ricketts Signs Landmark Criminal Justice Reform Bill

LINCOLN, Neb.—Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday signed into law a significant overhaul of the state’s criminal justice system designed to halt prison population growth, support victims of crime, and improve public safety by enhancing the supervision of people released from […]

North Carolina Reaping the Benefits of Justice Reinvestment Act of 2011

Three years after enacting comprehensive reforms to its criminal justice system, North Carolina is showing significant signs of success from its data-driven, “justice reinvestment” approach, according to a report released today by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center.

Justice Center in the News

Miami’s Model for Decriminalizing Mental Illness in America

Miami-Dade County has long had a more acute problem than most. By one estimate, more than 9 percent of Miami residents suffer from a mental illness — a rate that is approximately three times higher than the national average. Yet over the course of the past decade, Miami-Dade County has emerged as a national model for how a county can develop strategies to combat the criminalization of mental illness.

Edward Fitzpatrick: High Time to Address Rhode Island’s Probation Inflation

Rhode Island has the nation’s third-highest probation rate. And in Providence, 1 out of every 11 men is on probation. Meanwhile, two-thirds of prison sentences are for “low-severity crimes” (drug or property crimes, as opposed to violent or sex crimes). And unless something is done, the state prison population is expected to grow by 12 percent over the next decade.

Evaluation Trumps Incarceration in L.A. Police Dept. Mental Health Efforts

“The LAPD has a multilayered approach, which is necessary for a more comprehensive response to connect individuals with mental illness to the most appropriate services needed,” said Nicola Smith-Kea, policy analyst for the Law Enforcement Program of the Council of State Governments Justice Center.

Educators Gather at the White House to Rethink School Discipline

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice are hosting teams of superintendents, principals, and teachers from across the country today for “Rethink Discipline,” a day-long conference at the White House on creating positive school climates and implementing effective discipline practices. The conference seeks to advance the national conversation about reducing the overuse of unnecessary out of school suspensions and expulsions and replacing these practices with positive alternatives that keep students in school and engaged in learning, but also ensure accountability.

Dare County Gets Behind National Mental Health Initiative

Joining a growing effort to tackle what one official calls “a national crisis,” the Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution on July 20 to reduce the number of inmates with mental illness in the county jail. The board’s action came only days after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s July 14 announcement that he was creating the North Carolina Mental Health and Substance Use Task Force in support of the national “Stepping Up” initiative on mental illness and incarceration.

Rhode Island to Review Prison, Parole, Probation Systems

The announcement will the mark the launch of a months-long effort by the Council of State Governments Justice Center to help Rhode Island policymakers identify potential new ways “to reduce corrections spending and reinvest savings in strategies that can reduce recidivism and increase public safety.”