Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.


A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Report: Public-Housing Policies Exclude People with Criminal Records


Wednesday, March 1, 2023   

A new report calls for public housing authorities to change certain policies to prevent excluding people with criminal records.

The Prison Policy Initiative report finds some public-housing policies work against people who once were convicted, for instance, of using marijuana. While it's legal in 37 states and Washington D.C., the Department of Housing and Urban Development prohibits marijuana use in public housing, since it is still illegal at the federal level.

Wanda Bertram, communications strategist for the Prison Policy Initiative, said access to housing is critical to help people restart their lives.

"Someone coming out of prison might have a whole host of issues to work on," Bertram explained. "They might have a health issue, they may have a substance use problem, they might have a mental illness. These are all issues that are disproportionately prevalent among people leaving prison. They might not have very many job prospects, but in order to begin tackling all of those problems, they need a place to live."

In Connecticut, legislation to ensure landlords would not discriminate against prior offenders stalled in the General Assembly. The state's "Clean Slate Law," which erases the criminal records of those who remain crime-free for an extended period, went into effect this year, but it only applies to people convicted of misdemeanors and lower-level felonies.

The report recommends public housing authorities could be more inclusive by removing lengthy "look-back periods" in screening prospective renters, and issuing clear explanations about why a person was denied housing. Bertram noted changes to the appeals process would also aid people with criminal records.

"With public housing authorities there's always, in theory, an option to appeal if you're denied," Bertram acknowledged. "There should be an option to have the authority review your case. Now, authorities need to make that option basically guaranteed to everybody who's denied, including people who are denied based on a criminal record."

HUD issued guidance in 2016 and in 2022 to ensure public housing authorities do not exclude people on the basis of a criminal record, but there is no clear picture of whether they are following the guidance.

get more stories like this via email
Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …

According to The Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation, 3,514 men and one woman have won the Medal of Honor in service of their country from the Civil War to the present day. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

A report published in late February says children of mothers who are abused or neglected were more likely to demonstrate symptoms and behaviors linked to depression, along with other health issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation. In South Dakota, leaders in early-…

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…


One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021