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 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 ...
Briefing on ‘Using Data and Technology to Improve Criminal Justice Systems’

Briefing on ‘Using Data and Technology to Improve Criminal Justice Systems’

On Thursday, October 26th, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network. The briefing explored how states are evaluating AI and ...
Supporting State-Level Deflection and Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiatives

Supporting State-Level Deflection and Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiatives

In August 2023, state participants from Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania attended the wrap-up meeting for the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Learning Collaborative on Strategies to Support the Development ...
Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit

Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit

The Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit highlighted the essential role Governors play in ensuring that opioid settlement funds are used to their fullest potential while not supplanting existing resources. (Download) ...
Briefing on State Impacts from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022-2023 Term

Briefing on State Impacts from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022-2023 Term

The National Governors Association recently hosted a briefing for Governors’ legal counsel reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022-2023 term. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a number of decisions of interest ...
2023 Governors’ Legal Counsel Convening

2023 Governors’ Legal Counsel Convening

The 2023 Governors’ Legal Counsel Convening was held on June 15-16th in Chicago, Illinois. Hosted by the National Governors Association, the event brought together Governors’ chief legal counsel, general counsel, ...
National Deflection Week

National Deflection Week

This week, the National Governor’s Association is recognizing National Deflection Week. During this period, we join in the shared recognition and celebration of the Deflection community, including volunteers, partners, service ...
Leveraging Telehealth for Justice-involved Populations With Substance Use Disorders

Leveraging Telehealth for Justice-involved Populations With Substance Use Disorders

This brief reviews activities undertaken by states to expand the use of telehealth for justice-involved individuals with SUDs during the COVID-19 pandemic, share lessons learned, and highlight considerations for Governors ...
Briefing on Community Responses to Mass Violence Incidents

Briefing on Community Responses to Mass Violence Incidents

On Thursday, June 22, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network.  The briefing discussed best practices and available resources for ...
2023 State of the State Addresses: Criminal Justice and Public Safety Priorities

2023 State of the State Addresses: Criminal Justice and Public Safety Priorities

Public safety continues to be a priority for states and territories. In 2023, Governors used their State of the State addresses to discuss numerous issues concerning criminal justice and public ...
Briefing on State Judicial Selection Processes

Briefing on State Judicial Selection Processes

On Tuesday, May 30, the National Governors Association hosted its monthly briefing for Governors’ legal counsel. The briefing discussed state judicial selection processes, including considerations for Governors when making judicial ...
Governors Release Statement on End of Title 42, Urge Bipartisan Solutions on Immigration

Governors Release Statement on End of Title 42, Urge Bipartisan Solutions on Immigration

According to National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey and NGA Vice Chair Spencer Cox, Governor of Utah: “We are encouraged by reports of a decline ...