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 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 ...
State and Federal Actions to Respond to Xylazine

State and Federal Actions to Respond to Xylazine

Xylazine, also known as “tranq,” is a non-opioid drug commonly used for veterinary purposes which has been showing up more frequently in the illicit drug supply. To address the significant ...
Briefing on State Implementation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Briefing on State Implementation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

On Thursday, April 20, the National Governors Association (NGA) hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network. The briefing discussed recent state initiatives to implement the ...
The Future of Emergency Response Capabilities in the New Legal Landscape

The Future of Emergency Response Capabilities in the New Legal Landscape

On Wednesday, April 12, 2023 the National Governors Association hosted its monthly briefing for Governors’ legal counsel. The briefing consisted of a joint webinar hosted by NGA and the Association ...
Public Safety Personnel Recruitment And Retention

Public Safety Personnel Recruitment And Retention

On Thursday March 30, the National Governors Association hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPA) network. The briefing discussed strategies and best practices for the recruitment ...
Managing Requests for Public Records

Managing Requests for Public Records

On Tuesday, March 28, the National Governors Association hosted its monthly briefing for Governors’ legal counsel. The call discussed how Governor’s offices manage requests for public records and other considerations ...
Governors Stand Against Antisemitism

Governors Stand Against Antisemitism

Hate crimes are on the rise, jumping 11.6% in 2021, according to the latest FBI data. Among the more than 12,000 victims reported, 65% were targeted due to race, ethnicity ...
Supporting Successful Workforce Reentry for Justice-Involved Individuals

Supporting Successful Workforce Reentry for Justice-Involved Individuals

As Governors continue to address workforce shortages in nearly every sector of the economy, state workforce development policymakers and their private sector partners remain focused on increasing labor force participation ...
Briefing on Government Ethics Considerations

Briefing on Government Ethics Considerations

On Monday, February 27, the National Governors Association hosted its monthly legal counsel briefing, which discussed state and territorial ethics issues. Ensuring high ethical standards for both the government institution ...
State Strategies to Address the Needs of Justice-Involved Youth Impacted by Collateral Consequences

State Strategies to Address the Needs of Justice-Involved Youth Impacted by Collateral Consequences

This publication documents a series of learning calls, and a roundtable, held by NGA on collateral consequences for youth involved in the juvenile justice system and highlights key policy strategies ...
DPAD Learning Collaborative

DPAD Learning Collaborative

In January 2023, participants from Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania attended the kickoff meeting for the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Learning Collaborative on Strategies to Support the Development of ...