Policy Resources

A brief collection of resources highlighting actions by state attorneys general in key policy areas

Criminal Justice Reform

Prosecutorial Reform

Memo from Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings to Deputy Attorneys General and Staff on Fairness and Equity in the Criminal Justice System: Internal Policies (Feb. 15, 2019).

See, Shaun King, Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings Has Unveiled a Startingly Progressive Reform Agenda, The Intercept (Mar. 11, 2019).

Police Oversight

California Department of Justice, Sacramento Police Department: Report and Recommendations (January 2019).

In early 2019, the California Department of Justice released a report on use of force-related polices, training, and practices within the Sacramento Police Department (SPD). The purpose of the report is to provide SPD with recommendations grounded in evidence and promising practices from around the country to help guide the reform efforts it has independently committed to pursue.

Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Reforming Chicago’s Police Department (January 2019).

New York Attorney General’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit website.

This website contains information on SIP’s mandate and all investigation reports, including biennial reports. “On July 8, 2015, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 147, which appointed the New York State Attorney General as special prosecutor in incidents where a law enforcement officer causes the death of an unarmed civilian, or where there is a significant question as to whether the civilian was armed and dangerous. The following day, the office announced the creation of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit (SIPU) to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute all cases that fall within the scope of Executive Order 147.”

Bail Reform

New Jersey Courts Criminal Justice Reform Information Center

The website provides data and information on New Jersey’s pretrial risk assessment system.

Maryland Attorney General’s Bail System Reform FAQ

This Q&A about bail system reform is hosted on the Maryland OAG website. It includes a letter from Attorney General Brian Frosh to the Maryland Standing Committee of Rules of Practice and Procedure, requesting changes to Maryland Rule 4-216 on pretrial release.

Sentencing Reform

The National Association of Attorneys General, AG Roundtable – Sentencing Reform, Vimeo (Feb. 22, 2016).

Video of a roundtable discussion on sentencing reform between state Attorneys General at the National Association of Attorneys General 2016 Winter Meeting featuring Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden, Iowa AG Tom Miller, former Georgia AG Sam Olens, and Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum.

Debtors’ Prisons

Missouri Attorney General Press Release, AG Schmitt Files Amicus Brief Opposing Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons (Jan. 7, 2019)

Data Collection

California Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center.

According to the site, “The California Attorney General has the duty to collect, analyze, and report statistical data, which provide valid measures of crime and the criminal justice process to government and the citizens of California. The mandate of the Criminal Justice Statistics Center (CJSC) is to collect and report statistical data that allow for valid assessments of crime and the criminal justice process in California. This site contains crime data submitted by county and local law enforcement agencies, as well as current and historical publications on crime, juvenile justice, homicide, and hate crimes in California.”

Texas Attorney General Criminal Justice Reports and Publications webpage.

A set of public data and reports collected and published by the Texas Attorney General’s office. Data sets include law enforcement custodial death reports and peace officer involved shootings. According to the website, “[t]he Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has adopted and published reporting forms for Officer-Involved Shooting Incidents, as required by Articles 2.139 and 2.1395 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which became effective September 1, 2015.  The forms along with the annual report(s) required to be issued by this office are found below.”

Civil Rights

Press Release, Attorney General Madigan Urges Governor To Restore State Hate Crimes Commission (Mar. 8, 2017).

Press Release from the Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announcing that the Attorney General sent a letter to Illinois Governor Rauner to restore the state’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes to combat “a troubling increase in hate crimes” in the state of Illinois.

Press Release, Madigan Probes National Job Search Sites Over Potential Age Discrimination (Mar. 2, 2017).

Press Release from the Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announcing that the Attorney General sent letters to six national career and job search companies over potential age discrimination violations, warning that the websites’ may be violating the Illinois Human Rights Act and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Civil Rights Resource Guide (September 2015).

Civil rights resource guide compiled by the Washington State Office of the Attorney General Bob Ferguson, designed to inform citizens of their civil rights, answer questions about those rights, and help them to identify the resources that are available to them.

OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov, Civil Rights FAQs.

Webpage of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Civil Rights and the responsibilities of the Civil Rights Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on the Ohio Attorney General’s page.

Niraj Chokshi, Seven attorneys general won’t defend their own state’s gay-marriage bans, The Washington Post, (Feb. 20, 2014).

A Washington Post article describing the different ways in which seven state attorneys general declined to defend their states’ bans on same-sex marriage.

Worker and Consumer Protection

State and Local Enforcement Project, Labor and Worklife Program: Harvard Law School

The Enforcement Project works with government agencies and officials engaged in enforcing workplace laws. For more information, click on the link above.

State Attorneys General Guidance to Public Sector Employers/Employees after Janus v. AFSCME Council 31

A collection of recent guidance documents issued by state attorneys general advising public sector employers, employees, and employee unions of their rights and responsibilities after the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 (2018).

Terri Gerstein and Marni von Wilpert, State attorneys general can play key roles in protecting workers’ rights, Economic Policy Institute (May 7, 2018).

This report describes some of the ways state attorneys general have been involved in protecting workers’ rights.

Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Overuse of Non-Competition Agreements: Understanding How They are used, Who they Harm, and What State Attorneys General Can Do To Protect The Public Interest (June 2018).

Prepared by Lisa Madigan, former Attorney General of the State of Illinois and Jane Flanagan, former Chief, Workplace Rights Bureau for: Unrigging the Market: Convening to Restore Competitive Labor Markets, Harvard Law School.

Center for Consumer Protection (CCP), National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI)

The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute (NAGTRI) is the training and research arm of NAAG. It was created in 2007 with the mission to provide training, research and other developmental resources to support state attorneys general offices. In 2017, NAGTRI created the Center for Consumer Protection (CCP)The CCP mission is to assist and enable state and territory attorneys general in protecting the public in the area of consumer protection.

NewsletterThe State Center Consumer Protection Report

The Consumer Protection Report is a monthly publication of state attorney general press releases on issues related to local and national consumer protection efforts, including cases, investigations, consumer alerts and advocacy initiatives.

Environment

StateAG.org, Environment

Database from Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law in partnership with StateAG.org that includes a variety of environmental lawsuits and other actions involving state attorneys general, as well as links to relevant documents and resources.

Immigration

Faces_of_Immigration.jpgRecent Immigration Guidance of State Attorneys General

A collection of guidance documents issued by state attorneys general informing local law enforcement agencies about their responsibilities regarding immigration enforcement.

Jonathan Miller, Beyond the Courts: The Role of State and Local Governments in Supporting Immigrant Communities in the Trump Era, ACSblog (July 17, 2018).

Jonathan Miller is Chief of the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. The views represented here are his own and not those of the Attorney General or the Office.

ACS Webinar, The Travel Ban at The Supreme Court: A Briefing on Trump v. Hawaii (Apr. 19, 2018) (featured Hawaii Lt. Governor and former Attorney General Doug Chin).

Voting Rights

John H. Thompson & Robert Yablon, Preparing for the 2020 Census: Considerations for State Attorneys General, (October 2018).

An ACS issue brief by John H. Thompson, the 24th Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, and Robert Yablon, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin, that provides a holistic strategy for state attorneys general to develop and implement, aimed at ensuring that their jurisdictions are fully and fairly counted.

A memorandum by Professors Justin Levitt of Loyola Law School and James Tierney of Harvard Law School illustrating the important roles of Attorneys General in their states’ redistricting processes through specific cases in which state Attorneys General have exercised both their jurisdiction and discretion with respect to redistricting. In addition, it outlines additional roles that could emerge in the 2020 cycle.