A forensic analyst with an evidence bag.

Sexual assault survivors can now track their rape kits in most states

BY: - September 8, 2023

It can take hours for a sexual assault victim to undergo the multiple swabs, hair samples, blood and urine collections, and other invasive procedures of a sexual assault examination. And then it can take months, sometimes years, for investigators to process that evidence kit. But now, responding to demands from survivors and their advocates, more […]

A backpack at a crime scene.

Cities are embracing teen curfews, though they might not curb crime

BY: - August 28, 2023

In response to growing public concern over crime, cities and counties throughout the United States are returning to a familiar tool: curfews for young people. Proponents argue curfews curb crime and protect youth by keeping them off the streets. But research suggests curfews are ineffective, and some juvenile justice advocates and experts warn of unintended […]

A correctional facility.

Stifling prison heat used to be just a Southern problem. Not anymore.

BY: - August 14, 2023

While sweltering heat in prisons without air conditioning has long been an issue in the South, extreme heat waves worsened by climate change are expanding the problem into Northern states. In recent years, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin have seen extreme heat in prisons. Many of these states lack the necessary infrastructure for […]

A man tackles someone in L.A. County.

After George Floyd’s murder, more states require release of police disciplinary records

BY: - August 2, 2023

Faced with growing calls for the public release of police disciplinary records, lawmakers in almost every state have grappled with how to balance revealing law enforcement misdeeds and protecting officers’ privacy and safety. Fueled by public outrage over the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and other high-profile incidents of police […]

Top State Stories: Washington bans sale of AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles

BY: - April 26, 2023

WA: Washington bans sale of AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles, effective immediately seattletimes.com Washington has become the 10th state to prohibit sales of AR-15s and dozens of other semi-automatic rifles, as Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed the ban into law, effective immediately. The state Capitol was closed to the public for the signing ceremony out […]

Top State Stories: Texas House passes first school safety bill in response to Uvalde shooting

BY: - April 25, 2023

TX: Texas House passes first school safety bill in response to Uvalde shooting texastribune.org The Texas House gave initial approval to a school safety bill that would require school districts to have an armed person at every campus and to conduct safety inspections at school buildings. It is still unclear whether lawmakers will listen to […]

Top State Stories: Tennessee governor calls in special legislative session on guns

BY: - April 24, 2023

TN: Tennessee governor calls in special legislative session on guns tennessean.com Less than two hours after the state legislature adjourned until 2024, Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee announced plans to call lawmakers back, probably within weeks, for a special legislative session focused on gun laws. In the final days of the legislative session, Lee made […]

Top State Stories: No-permit concealed carry passes Nebraska legislature

BY: - April 20, 2023

NE: No-permit concealed carry passes Nebraska legislature journalstar.com If signed by GOP Gov. Jim Pillen as expected, the bill will allow Nebraskans 21 and older to carry concealed weapons without a permit statewide. It will apply statewide and invalidate any local ordinances limiting that ability. OH: Ohio Senate OKs plan to make it harder to amend state […]

Top State Stories: Missouri self-defense laws criticized in Ralph Yarl shooting

BY: - April 19, 2023

MO: Missouri self-defense laws criticized in Ralph Yarl shooting kansascity.com Anger among Missouri lawmakers has been building in the wake of the shooting, in part because of a sense among Democrats, gun control activists and some residents that the state’s gun laws have contributed to an atmosphere where residents feel too comfortable pulling the trigger. Republicans, […]

Gun Deaths Drive Historic Spike in Child Mortality Rates

BY: and - April 18, 2023

After decades of steady improvement, the death rate of America’s children and teens shot up between 2019 and 2021 — and COVID-19 wasn’t the reason. Gun-related deaths represented the largest share of the increase — by far. According to an analysis of the most recent death certificate data from the federal Centers for Disease Control […]

Top State Stories: New Tennessee survey finds strong bipartisan support for gun safety

BY: - April 18, 2023

TN: New Tennessee survey finds strong bipartisan support for gun safety, laws tennessean.com A survey of registered Tennessee voters taken after last month’s shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville finds strong bipartisan support for gun safety measures, including background checks and so-called red flag laws. The poll found that 88% of respondents support background checks for gun […]

Top State Stories: Ohio governor delays 3 inmates’ executions

BY: - April 17, 2023

OH: Ohio governor delays 3 inmates’ executions cleveland.com Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine issued three reprieves of execution, citing issues with obtaining drugs for lethal injection. DeWine has repeatedly expressed his concern that if pharmaceutical companies find that Ohio used its drugs to put people to death, they will refuse to sell any of its drugs […]