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John Bassett

10 October 2020

Wisconsin, United States

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Same-day voter registration and the implementation of advanced cyberdefenses have bolstered Wisconsin's voting database, fortifying it against hackers and data breaches. Apprehension about election security prompted t...

BBC

Daniel Gordon

Joshua Nevett

5 October 2020

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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By training police officers to intervene when fellow officers engage in brutality or other misconduct, the New Orleans police department has reduced officers' use of force and increased public trust. After the killing...

ProPublica

Robert Faturechi

29 September 2020

United States

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One of the most powerful tools used to reform policing practices, widely credited with restoring public faith in such troubled departments as the Los Angeles Police Department, is called a consent decree. The U.S. Jus...

Scientific American

Julia Hotz

18 September 2020

United Kingdom

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Citizen assemblies bring together residents for in-depth discussions about solutions to social issues. This alternative form of democracy led to policy changes in many countries, including legalizing abortion in Irela...

KSAT-TV

Dillon Collier

15 September 2020

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Broadcast TV News

3-5 Minutes

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After two dozen of his deputies were arrested in 2018, many of them for drunken driving, the Bexar County sheriff imposed stricter rules, firing people for DWI offenses and barring them from future employment at the a...

San Francisco Public Press

Meka Boyle

2 September 2020

San Francisco, California, United States

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Groups in the Bay Area that have successfully sought to have police disciplined for misconduct and won new police-accountability policies have turned their form of organized monitoring into a training platform for pro...

Boulder Weekly

Emma Athena

20 August 2020

Massachusetts, United States

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Almost half of U.S. states guarantee citizens’ rights to petition for ballot measures, but the coronavirus made gathering signatures in person infeasible. Massachusetts courts allowed electronic signatures, but other ...

Wired

Sirin Kale

14 August 2020

United Kingdom

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Logically is a fact-checking app that combines AI technology and human research to assess and label the truthfulness of news articles. The app has about 20,000 users after a soft launch in the UK, with a full launch p...

Colorado Politics

Rachel Lorenz

13 August 2020

Colorado, United States

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Colorado has fine-tuned an effective mail-in ballot protocol for statewide elections and has one of the highest voter turnouts. Ballots are stored in tamperproof locked rooms that are continuously monitored and voters...

NPR

Mark Oprea

10 August 2020

Youngstown, Ohio, United States

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Mahoning Matters formed as a news site with laid-off veterans of the Youngstown Vindicator, filling part of a void in local accountability journalism in what is now the largest U.S. city without a seven-day print news...

The Intercept

Brandon Soderberg

Baynard Woods

26 July 2020

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Baltimore’s Safe Streets program, which uses a public-health approach to stopping the spread of community gun violence, mediated more than 1,800 conflicts in 2019 and is credited with preventing homicides altogether i...

Truthout

Tyler Hicks

26 July 2020

Milford, Delaware, United States

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Body-worn cameras gained popularity as a potential check on police brutality, but for them to fulfill that purpose, numerous changes in typical public policies are needed, starting with public access to videos and ind...

Stateline

Matt Vasilogambros

20 July 2020

United States

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Many entities are working with social media companies to flag election-related disinformation. The California Secretary of State emails voters about how to report false information so the state can flag it and the Ari...

The New Yorker

Tom Robbins

17 July 2020

New York, United States

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When New York legislators abolished a state law that had long shielded police officers’ disciplinary records from public scrutiny, they were not just responding to recent protests but also to activism over many years ...

Reuters

John Shiffman

Michael Berens

14 July 2020

Arkansas, United States

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Arkansas’ judicial oversight agency has the staffing and persistence to hold bad judges accountable in ways that counter a nationwide pattern of weak enforcement and judicial impunity. The Arkansas Judicial Discipline...

How Do We Fix It?

Richard Davies

Jim Meigs

10 July 2020

Michigan, United States

Podcast

Over 15 Minutes

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Voters Not Politicians is a grassroots initiative that, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, ran a successful campaign to defeat gerrymandering in Michigan. The state has a citizen-led ballot initiative option, so...

The Marshall Project

Maurice Chammah

1 July 2020

Tyler, Texas, United States

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Dalila Reynoso's local activism blossomed into a full-blown watchdog role when COVID-19 began to spread through the Smith County, Texas, jail. The marriage of criminal justice reform and pandemic safety, vested in one...

CNN

Rob Kuznia

Casey Tolan

25 June 2020

United States

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The most effective civilian oversight agencies that act as watchdogs over police discipline are empowered to conduct independent investigations, impose discipline on individual officers, and influence disciplinary pol...

The New York Times

Rukmini Callimachi

24 June 2020

Woodlynne, New Jersey, United States

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New Jersey’s responses to police misconduct offer stark lessons in how certain failures can allow troubled officers to hop from job to job undetected. The state lacks a central database of police misconduct and remain...

Honolulu Civil Beat

Blaze Lovell

17 June 2020

Hawaii, United States

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The groundswell for greater accountability in police shootings has barely caused a ripple in Hawaii, where the state’s Law Enforcement Officer Independent Review board has finished only one case in its first three yea...

Wall Street Journal

Yaroslav Trofimov

13 June 2020

Ukraine

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Georgia and Ukraine offer cautionary advice to Americans whose mass protests seek structural changes in policing, even abolishing entire police forces. The same was true in those two countries. But, in both cases, ini...

The Washington Post

Amber Phillips

12 June 2020

Colorado, United States

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Vote-by-mail in Colorado makes voting easier. Citizens are automatically registered to vote by the DMV when they get a license. Voter data is updated monthly by the post office to increase voter roll accuracy. Voters ...

Mother Jones

Jamie Smith Hopkins

Kristine Villanueva

11 June 2020

Denver, Colorado, United States

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Civilian oversight panels serving as watchdogs and disciplinary enforcers for police departments have a generally poor record of effectiveness, thanks to multiple structural flaws. But examples of successful oversight...

The Philadelphia Citizen

Charles D. Ellison

10 June 2020

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Truly independent citizen review boards can serve as an effective check on police misconduct if they are structured properly, but too many cities are like Philadelphia, where a lack of power and resources means they s...

The New York Times

Shaila Dewan

Serge Kovaleski

30 May 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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Derek Chauvin's journey through the Minneapolis Police Department’s officer-disciplinary system illustrates the weaknesses of that system and the failure of efforts to fix it. Chauvin, the officer charged in the death...

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes; Kriston Bethel; Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

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