State of the States: Justice Reform in Focus

maria News, Uncategorized

Each year, governors in every state deliver their annual State of the State addresses to lay out their priorities and set their agenda for the year to come. Across the country, governors from both parties are including justice reform as an important part of their agenda this year. Follow along on Twitter via the hashtag: #StatesLead. Here’s a rundown of what the governors are putting at the top of their agenda in 2017. Click to jump to a state Arkansas Arizona Connecticut  Illinois Kentucky  Missouri Nevada New Jersey  New York      North Dakota      Oklahoma     South Dakota    Virginia KENTUCKY  – Governor Bevin  February 8, 2017 “Criminal justice reform …

WATCH: “Changing Laws, Changing Lives:” Inside Look at How Georgia, Oklahoma and Kentucky Are Reforming Their Justice Systems

maria Uncategorized

We produced this video, “Changing Laws, Changing Lives,” to share the story how Georgia, Oklahoma and Kentucky – led by Republican governors – are reforming their justice systems. Govs. Matt Bevin, Nathan Deal, and Mary Fallin are featured in the video and discuss the often difficult journey they took in Kentucky, Georgia and Oklahoma to pass legislation with bipartisan support that reduce their states’ costly prison populations and break down barriers so individuals leaving prison can get back to work, support their families and lead productive, redeemed lives. The video makes clear that when we work together, regardless of political affiliation, we can make our justice system smarter, fairer and more efficient. Please share with your networks and then contact …

Op-Ed in Star Tribune: Minnesota Must Wise Up About Probation Reform

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

U.S. Justice Action Network Deputy Director Jenna Moll and Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Patrick Purtill wrote a Star Tribune op-ed to remind Minnesotans that bipartisan probation reform is a proven way to deal with the state’s growing incarceration rate. They urge the legislature to take action on this reform now. Excerpts from the op-ed are below and you can read the full piece in the Star Tribune here.   “Minnesota has one of the fastest-growing prison population rates in the country. While the imprisonment rate nationally decreased more than seven percent between 2005 and 2015, Minnesota’s increased by 8 percent, even while crime was cut by 30 percent. “One of the …

Thank You, Governor Ducey, for Protecting Arizonans’ Property Rights

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Governor Doug Ducey today stood with almost every single legislator in the Statehouse and the majority of Arizona voters, and signed civil asset forfeiture reforms in law. With his pen, he raised the burden of proof for forfeitures in the state and dramatically expanded transparency into the process, ensuring property owners have more protections. The U.S. Justice Action Network hailed his leadership on this issue: Jenna Moll, Deputy Director, U.S. Justice Action Network: “The support for civil asset forfeiture reforms was overwhelming, and today those reforms became the law of the land. Thank you, Governor Ducey, for protecting the property rights of Arizonans by signing these reforms into law and …

Over to You, Governor Branstad: Legislature Approves Steps To Protect Innocent Citizens From Unjust Property Forfeitures

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

The U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system in Iowa and across the country, applauded the Iowa legislature for approving reforms to the civil asset forfeiture process by sending SF 446 to the governor’s desk for final signature The legislation requires a criminal conviction for property valued below $5,000, indexed to inflation. It will also require greater evidence for forfeitures above that amount and shifts the burden of proof from the property owner to the government in a forfeiture proceeding.  Support for reforms to the civil asset forfeiture process continues to grow across the country, with Ohio recently passing one of the most aggressive …

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Approved by Arizona Legislature

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

The U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan group working to reform the justice system in Arizona and around the country, applauds the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives for passing HB 2477, sponsored by Representative Eddie Farnsworth. The legislation received concurrence today in the House and now awaits action by Governor Doug Ducey. The bill will increase the proof required before the government may permanently take a person’s property, while expanding transparency and reporting into the process. This type of reform is widely popular, with 73% of Arizona voters saying that civil asset forfeiture is in need of reform, according to a recent poll out last month from the …

The Hill Op-Ed: Bring Victims to the Table on Criminal Justice Reform

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

The Hill just published a op-ed with a timely, significant message from Eileen Recktenwald, the executive director of the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, and Sherry Currens, the executive director of the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  In honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, they discuss how victims’ groups are often left out of the conversation on justice reform and why their voices are more important than ever.   Excerpts are below and you can read the piece in full here. “Criminal justice reform is hailed as the one policy area where conservatives and progressives can still reach across the aisle and find consensus.  The movement has supporters all across the …