Public Safety and Legal Counsel

Governors legal counsel serve as senior staff, overseeing legal issues with legislation, policy, executive orders, administrative actions, and executive appointments. Additionally, Governors are focused on public safety, crime, delinquency and related social and economic consequences. NGA serves the needs of governors and their policy advisors in a broad range of criminal, sentencing, corrections and justice-related policies.

Latest

Meet the team

  • Ken Hardy, Program Director
  • Lauren Dedon, Senior Legal Policy Advisor
  • Erin Daneker, Policy Analyst
  • Maria Kearl, Policy Analyst
  • Camille Lodugnon, Policy Coordinator

NGA Public Safety & Legal Counsel networks

Governors Criminal Justice Policy Advisors Network

The Governors Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPAs) Network provides a forum for governors’ criminal and juvenile justice policy advisors to connect with their peers in other states, promote regional information sharing and collaboration, and learn about best practices and the latest research in the field. NGA convenes CJPAs for an annual institute and offers customized technical assistance to them as requested through research and strategic planning support.

Governors’ Legal Counsel
Network

The Governors’ Legal Counsel Network is comprised of chief legal counsel, general counsel, and legal deputies to Governors. As part of this network, counsel have the unique opportunity to share best practices and legal lessons learned with peers across the nation. NGA convenes legal counsel on regular briefing calls, hosts counsel at an annual meeting, and provides ad hoc technical assistance and research support to the network on a vast array of legal and policy issues.

Consortium Of State Public Safety Executives

The Consortium of State Public Safety Executives is a network of cabinet-level secretaries and commissioners from across the country who are responsible for oversight of their state’s public safety enterprise, including state police, fire, corrections, emergency management and/or other related agencies. Members connect with their peers to share lessons learned, receive briefings from national experts on best practices and receive ongoing technical support from NGA staff.


Resources

Briefing on State Pardon and Commutation Processes

Briefing on State Pardon and Commutation Processes

On April 30, the National Governors Association hosted its monthly briefing for Governors’ legal counsel which discussed legal considerations related to gubernatorial clemency authorities. Every state constitution authorizes the Governor ...
CJPA Briefing On State Homelessness and Reentry Policy

CJPA Briefing On State Homelessness and Reentry Policy

On Thursday, April 25th, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network. The briefing discussed state actions on homelessness, with a ...
Briefing on Governors Engagement in Foreign Affairs

Briefing on Governors Engagement in Foreign Affairs

On Thursday, April 4, the National Governors Association hosted a joint call for Governors’ legal counsel and the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC) which discussed gubernatorial engagement in foreign ...
CJPA Briefing On State Actions To Address Human Trafficking

CJPA Briefing On State Actions To Address Human Trafficking

On Thursday, March 28th, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network. The briefing discussed state actions to address human trafficking, ...
Briefing on Legal and Regulatory Considerations for States Related to Artificial Intelligence

Briefing on Legal and Regulatory Considerations for States Related to Artificial Intelligence

On Tuesday, February 27, the National Governors Association hosted its monthly briefing for Governors’ legal counsel which discussed legal and regulatory considerations for states related to artificial intelligence (AI). AI ...
CJPA Briefing on CCJs 2023 Year-End Crime Trends Report

CJPA Briefing on CCJs 2023 Year-End Crime Trends Report

On Thursday, February 29th, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network. The briefing discussed the data and analysis included in ...
Governors Continue to Use Emergency Powers to Address the Drug Overdose Epidemic

Governors Continue to Use Emergency Powers to Address the Drug Overdose Epidemic

Governors continue to take executive action and use emergency powers to respond to the nation’s drug overdose epidemic. Recently, Governors in at least two states have issued emergency orders addressing ...
Onboarding Session For Governors’ Legal Counsel

Onboarding Session For Governors’ Legal Counsel

On Tuesday, January 30, the National Governors Association hosted an onboarding session for Governors’ legal counsel. The call discussed the role generally and highlighted key challenges and lessons for success ...
A Best Practices Dozen – Publications 2023

A Best Practices Dozen – Publications 2023

As we welcome a new year, it is natural to reflect on the year that has passed. In the realm of information dissemination, this act of reflection takes on particular ...
Briefing on 2023-2024 U.S. Supreme Court Term

Briefing on 2023-2024 U.S. Supreme Court Term

The 2023-2024 U.S. Supreme Court term will feature cases on several issues of interest to state and territorial governments, including federal authority and administrative law, redistricting, free speech and social ...
Briefing on ‘Motor Vehicle Crime Trends’

Briefing on ‘Motor Vehicle Crime Trends’

On Tuesday, December 5th, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network. The briefing discussed the increasing trend in motor vehicle ...
Briefing on Legal Considerations Related to State Cannabis Regulation

Briefing on Legal Considerations Related to State Cannabis Regulation

On Wednesday, November 1, the National Governors Association hosted its monthly briefing for Governors’ legal counsel, which discussed state cannabis regulation. The landscape of cannabis legalization and regulation remains a ...