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California could soon restore voting rights for tens of thousands of felons who are not serving their sentences in the state prison system.  The state Senate on Tuesday passed Assembly Bill 2466 by a vote of 23-13, sending it to governor’s desk for consideration. The controversial measure clarifies that anyone convicted of a felony who is not currently imprisoned or on parole is allowed to vote.  Continue reading.

When Dolfinette Martin was convicted of shoplifting more than $700 worth of clothes in Louisiana in 2005, she had five children, no money and an addiction to cocaine.  Seven years later, in 2012, Ms. Martin became one of a growing number of impoverished women released from prisons and jails whose plight has been largely overlooked during continuing efforts to reverse mass incarceration, according to criminal justice experts. Continue reading.

By now, Karen Wilk thought she would have sold her five-bedroom house in Colts Neck, New Jersey, and downsized to a smaller home. But she has had to put those plans on hold because her 23-year-old daughter, who is finishing her college degree while working part-time, still lives with her. Wilk’s 27-year-old son moved out two years ago. Continue reading.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday approved a package of bills aimed at preventing young people who've run afoul of the law from falling into a cycle of incarceration.  Flanked by Democratic lawmakers with whom he has been warring over the state's budget mess, Rauner said the legislation was just one step in a larger effort to change the state's criminal justice system.  Continue reading.

Federal judges struck down nearly 30 North Carolina House and Senate districts on Thursday as illegal racial gerrymanders, but will allow General Assembly elections to be held using them this fall. Continue reading.

Starting in December, Texas will try something new to get parents to pay child support: withhold their vehicle registration. The move is a controversial attempt to get more noncustodial parents to pay child support on-time and in-full. But some family and antipoverty advocates say the policy will have unintended consequences. Continue reading.

Twenty years after a federal law blocked people with felony drug convictions from receiving welfare or food stamps, more states are loosening those restrictions — or waiving them entirely. Continue reading.

A Justice Department investigation found that the Baltimore Police Department engages in unconstitutional practices that lead to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests of African-Americans, and excessive use of force against juveniles and people with mental health disabilities. Continue reading.

The  Department of Justice says Mississippi is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act by failing to provide community-based mental health services for mentally ill adults. Continue reading.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill aimed at making voter registration automatic in Illinois, citing concerns about potential voting fraud and conflicts with federal law.  The first-term Republican governor said he wanted to continue negotiations with supporters to work out those issues, but groups backing the measure accused him of playing politics with his veto and said they would seek an override.  Continue reading.


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