This symbol is inside of the Alaska Department of Corrections office on Sept. 7, 2022, in Douglas, Alaska. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Police Standards Council turns down plan to lower hiring age of corrections officers — for now

BY: - December 4, 2023

The Alaska Police Standards Council voted down a regulation change that would allow the state to hire corrections officers as young as 18 years old — the current minimum age for hire is 21 years old. The Department of Corrections floated the proposal as a tool to combat its staff shortage, decreased applicant pool and […]

Part of an exhibit outlining legal restrictions that Americans with past convictions or criminal records face after they’ve completed their sentences is displayed at a rally supporting legislation that would help automatically expunge old criminal records, in Sacramento, Calif., in 2019. States and jurisdictions are making it easier to expunge and seal criminal records to help residents seeking employment, housing and education. (Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/The Associated Press)

High fees, long waits cast shadow over new criminal expungement laws

BY: - November 29, 2023

More states are making it easier for residents to clear or seal their criminal records. The effort has drawn bipartisan support, as lawmakers across the political spectrum say it will help people find jobs and housing, in turn boosting local economies and reducing reliance on social services. “Folks that get out of jail or prison […]

Boats rest on the shore of the Kuskokwim River in Bethel, a hub community in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. Boats are a main form of transportation in Western Alaska, where most communities are not connected by roads. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

With law enforcement sparse, Alaska villages build network of safety for survivors

BY: - November 29, 2023

Alaska is notoriously lacking in law enforcement for its remote communities, especially Alaska Native villages off the road system. These limitations put extra pressure on services in those communities to respond to violence after it happens, and a new program is aiming to help victims of violence. In Emmonak, a village of about 800 residents […]

This view is from Wrangell on Sept. 11, 2022. (Photo by Joaqlin Estus/ICT)

Conservation group supports formation of new Alaska Native corporations

BY: - November 28, 2023

The conservation group the Wilderness Society has changed its position and now supports a bill that would create five new Alaska Native corporations in Southeast Alaska. It historically opposed the creation of the new corporations. Senate Bill 1889 and House Bill 4748, the Unrecognized Southeast Alaska Native Communities Recognition and Compensation Act, would create for-profit […]

A mural painted on the side of a boarded up apartment complex in Eagle Butte depicts an infant holding the hand of an elder. (Photo by Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

South Dakota inspired ICWA but still has high rate of Native children in foster care

BY: and - November 27, 2023

Cheryl Spider DeCoteau was nervous. It was the Sisseton Wahpeton tribal citizen’s first time in Washington, D.C., and she sat in front of two senators, multiple congressional aides, lawyers and clerks in a large, wood-paneled committee room, bright lights shining down. Two of the 23-year-old’s sons, ages 5 and 3, sat in the audience while […]

bout 40 states have passed laws limiting the use of restraints such as handcuffs, leg restraints and belly chains on pregnant people in law enforcement custody. But confusion over the laws, lack of sanctions for violations and wide loopholes are contributing to the continued shackling of pregnant women in custody. (Illustration by Oona Tempest/KFF Health News)

Most states ban shackling pregnant women in custody, yet many report being restrained

BY: - November 24, 2023

This story was produced by KFF Health News. Ashley Denney was about seven months pregnant in 2022 when police handcuffed her during an arrest in Carroll County, Georgia. Officers shackled her even though the state bans the use of restraints on pregnant women in custody beginning at the second trimester. In early July, she said, […]

A sign advertises a bail bond company on Aug. 29, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Cash bail policies are under fresh scrutiny

BY: - November 20, 2023

States can’t figure out what to do about cash bail. The system — in which an arrested suspect pays cash to avoid sitting in jail until their court date and gets the money back when they appear — is deeply entrenched in the nation’s history as a way to ensure defendants return to face justice. […]

ConocoPhillips’ Willow project is in the northeast corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. (Map by USGS, Department of Interior)

Environmental groups ask federal appeals court to halt Willow oil project

BY: - November 15, 2023

Two coalitions of environmental groups, having lost their case in an Alaska courthouse, are asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to issue an order that would halt work on Alaska’s largest oil development in decades. On Tuesday, the coalitions filed separate appeals with the 9th Circuit. They argue that Judge Sharon Gleason made […]

A nine-story office building showing Juneau's courthouse

Alaska’s domestic violence council explores restorative justice methods in court sentencing

BY: - November 15, 2023

In a sunny room that faced towards the Gastineau Channel in Juneau, a group that included a city attorney, a Tribal employee, corrections officers and domestic violence advocates and survivors sat around a circle of desks to discuss how a new vision of justice could reduce domestic violence and increase public health in Alaska. A […]

U.S. Supreme Court unveils new ethics code, but critics say it doesn’t go far enough

BY: - November 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court released a new ethics code Monday, just days before the Democrat-led U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary again attempts to subpoena two high-profile GOP donors following revelations that justices accepted undisclosed luxury trips and engaged in other potential conflicts of interest. Despite the headlines and the committee’s springtime request […]

Willie Phillips was appointed acting chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January. (Photo: FERC)

Biden should take ‘acting’ out of FERC chair’s title

BY: - November 14, 2023

Nevada had a summer that showed the true severity of extreme weather events, ranging from heat waves to tropical storms that showcased how worsening severe weather knows no bounds. Though the White House is proactive in confronting these challenges head on, the bulk of regulatory rulemaking to address this will come from the Federal Energy […]

A sticker expressing opposition to the Pebble Mine is seen on a coffee shop window in Kodiak on Oct. 3, 2022. Opposition to the mine has been widespread in Alaska's fishing communities for several years. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Debate over Pebble mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region moves to dueling Supreme Court briefs

BY: - November 13, 2023

The company trying to build a huge copper and gold mine in the salmon-rich Bristol Bay will keep fighting for the project, despite a decision by the federal government to keep the proposed development site off-limits to large-scale metals mining. John Shively, chief executive officer of the Pebble Limited Partnership, made that vow in a […]