Justice & Public Safety

RFRA’s Judicial History Leaves Questions Unanswered in NC

RFRA’s Judicial History Leaves Questions Unanswered in NC

RFRA, once an acronym spoken only in academic halls and legislative debates, has become a household subject across America. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its state counterparts have been demonized by some and glorified by others.

Civitas Institute asks Supreme Court to protect entrepreneurs

Civitas Institute asks Supreme Court to protect entrepreneurs

Today, the Civitas Institute joins the Cato Institute in asking the United States Supreme Court to clarify its role in protecting Americans from occupational licensure abuse. In a joint amicus brief, attorneys from Civitas and Cato ask the Court to grant certiorari in Vong v. Aune — a case with the potential…

What Newspapers Won’t Say about Anti-Election Reform Lawyers

What Newspapers Won’t Say about Anti-Election Reform Lawyers

Much has been written about the attorneys the Governor and the legislative leaders have hired to defend the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA) against lawsuits brought by the NC-NAACP, the ACLU and the U.S. Justice Department. In contrast, to date, there have been no stories spotlighting the army of attorneys…


Legislative Follow Up to Questions about Prisoner Health Care

There are many questions that are asked in legislative meetings and many times the staff notes that they will have to follow up with those questions at a later meeting. Some of these questions were answered at the March Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety meeting. At…


Surprise, Surprise: Criminals Have Handguns

“When guns are outlawed,” the adage goes, “only outlaws will have guns.” That certainly seems to be the case in Charlotte: A Civitas analysis of gun-related arrests in Charlotte indicates that at least 66 percent of arrestees were ineligible to purchase handguns. Using public records, Civitas requested data on all…


For Mentally Ill, Some Long-Awaited Glimmers of Hope

A version of this op-ed appeared in the Charlotte Observer. Last week, a young man from eastern North Carolina named Keith Vidal became the latest victim in a long series of preventable tragedies caused by untreated severe mental illness. Police shot and killed Keith, a 90-pound, 18-year-old boy who suffered…


The New Front Lines of Mental Health

This week, another preventable tragedy in North Carolina. From WWAY NC: A Boiling Springs Lake father says his son was murdered by police this afternoon. Mark Wilsey called police when his 18-year-old, 90 lb. son had a screwdriver that he would not let go…his son, Keith Vidal, had schizophrenia and…


Assisted Outpatient Treatment Could Be Key Component in Crisis Solutions Initiative

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the Crisis Solutions Initiative, a new state effort aimed at addressing the failures of Gov. Easley’s 2001 mental health reforms. Following the announcement, the Civitas Institute called on the McCrory administration to get serious about severe mental illness. The first…

Updates to Prisoner Weekend Release Program

Updates to Prisoner Weekend Release Program

Imagine someone has killed your loved one, and despite the court telling you that the killer’s sentence is 12 years, you suddenly find out that the murderer is able to go home on weekends only nine years into the sentence. That nightmare is a reality for one family in North…


Where Do You Want To Be: A Coffin, Prison, Or In The Community?

"Where do you want to be -- a prison, a coffin, or in the community?" That is the question posed to 18 convicted felons last week in the Rockingham County Agricultural Center.

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