Amanda Hernández is a staff writer for Stateline, which first published this report.
Sexual assault survivors can now track their rape kits in most states
By: Amanda Hernandez - September 8, 2023
It can take hours for a sexual assault victim to undergo the multiple swabs, hair samples, blood and urine collections, and other invasive procedures of a sexual assault examination. And then it can take months, sometimes years, for investigators to process that evidence kit. But now, responding to demands from survivors and their advocates, more […]
Stifling prison heat used to be just a Southern problem. Not anymore.
By: Amanda Hernandez - August 15, 2023
While sweltering heat in prisons without air conditioning has long been an issue in the South, (see NC Newsline’s August 14 “Monday numbers” report) extreme heat waves worsened by climate change are expanding the problem into Northern states. In recent years, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin have seen extreme heat in prisons. Many […]
States stiffen penalties for fentanyl, despite public health concerns
By: Amanda Hernandez - July 20, 2023
As they struggle to reduce drug overdose deaths, policymakers across the United States are embroiled in a heated debate over creating and increasing criminal penalties related to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that’s up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Legislators pushing the new wave of criminal penalties say the laws will deter drug […]
As more states legalize pot, their uneven safety rules can pose a risk
By: Amanda Hernandez - July 10, 2023
Amid the growing acceptance and legalization of cannabis use across the country, a concerning reality has emerged: The state-by-state patchwork of safety regulations can leave marijuana consumers wandering through a haze of uncertainty, exposing them to potential risks. Under federal law, marijuana is illegal — period. So, it’s up to individual states to determine their […]