Lindsey Van Ness

Lindsey Van Ness

Lindsey Van Ness is an assistant production editor and staff writer for Stateline. Previously Lindsey reported on public safety issues at LNP and LancasterOnline in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Louisiana Limits Mug Shot Publishing Before Conviction

By: - June 22, 2022

Louisiana has joined several other states in limiting when mug shots can be made public. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday he signed a law that bars law enforcement agencies from releasing most booking photos before a person is convicted of a crime. “Millions are arrested every year, only to later have their charges […]

Percentage of Women in State Policing Has Stalled Since 2000

By: - October 20, 2021

For two decades, amid the rise of women to governor’s mansions, military leadership and even the vice presidency, the percentage of women among the ranks of state police officers has hardly budged: A Stateline analysis finds that nationally, just 7% of sworn state troopers are female. That’s a tiny gain from 2000, when the average […]

COVID Froze Prison Visits, Spotlighting High Cost of Phone Calls

By: - August 4, 2021

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Judi Jennings regularly led arts and crafts events in the visitors lobby at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections in Kentucky. It wasn’t until in-person visits were suspended last year that Jennings realized how much it costs for people in jail to talk to those outside: around for a 15-minute call […]

Online, Mug Shots Are Forever. Some States Want to Change That.

By: - May 10, 2021

After a weekend in the Burleigh County, North Dakota, detention center last summer, Dustin Gawrylow was relieved when the state’s attorney decided not to press charges against him. Gawrylow, 38, had been in a fistfight with his brother—a “brotherly scuffle,” he called it—and was surprised to be arrested after going to the police to explain […]

For States’ COVID Contact Tracing Apps, Privacy Tops Utility

By: - March 19, 2021

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that WeHealth does not track locations but allows app users to self-identify with a county, university, or tribe. The digital contact tracing effort in Virginia is 2 million phones strong. Roughly a quarter of the adult population has downloaded the state’s COVIDWISE app or opted in […]

States Fail to Prioritize Homeless People for Vaccines

By: - March 1, 2021

Frank Galloway falls into the most vulnerable categories for COVID-19: He is 87, he is Black, and he is experiencing homelessness. “It ain’t no joke,” Galloway said of the coronavirus, which has killed some of his friends in Greensboro, North Carolina. “I don’t mind taking something that will help my life to keep going.” He’s […]

COVID-19 Extends Sentences for Some Incarcerated People

By: - January 20, 2021

Editor’s Note: This story was updated January 20, 2021 to clarify a quote from New Jersey Assembly member Christopher DePhillips. Nearly every day, Jan Salvay checks for her nephew’s name on the Nevada Department of Correction’s website: Nicholas, 39, jailed in a credit card forgery case. Then she checks the state’s list of deaths in […]

States Expanded Voting Access for the Pandemic. The Changes Might Stick.

By: and - November 6, 2020

LANCASTER, Pa. — With one envelope slicer, three ballot scanners and around 175 people, it took election officials roughly 37 consecutive hours to process 91,000 mail-in ballots in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. “It’s taking a little longer to scan than we had hoped,” said Randall Wenger, chief clerk of the county’s Board of Elections, speaking over […]

After Historic Early Voting Surge, Fewer Hiccups on Election Day

By: , and - November 4, 2020

POMEROY, Pa. — In Chester County, a hotly contested Philadelphia suburb, Republicans and Democrats agreed on one thing: the need to help voters find their polling place after the county sent a last-minute notification listing an incorrect location. Barbara Skowood, the Republican committee person for the Valley South precinct, posted laminated signs and made dozens […]

Virginia Governor Signs Ban on No-Knock Warrants

By: - October 28, 2020

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, has signed a new law that will ban no-knock search warrants. Virginia joins two states — Florida and Oregon — and at least 13 local governments or police departments that have banned the warrants or restricted their use in response to the killing of Breonna Taylor. Taylor, a 26-year-old […]

Breonna Taylor Killing Spurs Action Against No-Knock Warrants

By: - October 27, 2020

Emmanuel Remy and his children looked out of their Columbus, Ohio, home window one morning last November to see a dozen tactical officers in their yard. The officers were preparing to serve a warrant for the previous residents — suspected drug dealers. In the five months since Remy had bought the property, detectives already had […]

More People With Felony Convictions Can Vote, but Roadblocks Remain

By: - August 31, 2020

More than ever, Eric Harris is mindful of the elected officials around him: The school board members deciding whether his children will go back to the classroom, the sheriff influencing how officers interact with people like him, and the U.S. president steering the country’s coronavirus response. This year has given Harris lots of reasons to […]