Amanda Hernández covers criminal justice for Stateline. She has reported for both national and local outlets, including ABC News, USA Today and NBC4 Washington.
Politicians love to cite crime data. It’s often wrong.
By: Amanda Hernández - October 28, 2023
When Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his presidential campaign in May, he proudly told the nation that Florida’s crime rate in 2021 had reached a 50-year low. But really, DeSantis couldn’t say for sure. That’s because fewer than 1 in 10 law enforcement agencies in his state had reported their crime statistics to the […]
AI bots are helping 911 dispatchers with their workload
By: Amanda Hernández - October 16, 2023
In the middle of a storm, 911 call centers often find themselves inundated with reports of fallen trees, flooded roads and panicked residents. Every call matters, but with multiple reports of the same incident pouring in, the pressure on emergency services can become overwhelming. Amid the chaos, a technological ally has emerged: artificial intelligence. In […]
Sexual assault survivors can now track their rape kits in most states
By: Amanda Hernández - September 8, 2023
It can take hours for a sexual assault victim to undergo the multiple swabs, hair samples, blood and urine collections, and other invasive procedures of a sexual assault examination. And then it can take months, sometimes years, for investigators to process that evidence kit. But now, responding to demands from survivors and their advocates, more […]
Cities are embracing teen curfews, though they might not curb crime
By: Amanda Hernández - August 28, 2023
In response to growing public concern over crime, cities and counties throughout the United States are returning to a familiar tool: curfews for young people. Proponents argue curfews curb crime and protect youth by keeping them off the streets. But research suggests curfews are ineffective, and some juvenile justice advocates and experts warn of unintended […]
Stifling prison heat used to be just a Southern problem. Not anymore.
By: Amanda Hernández - August 14, 2023
While sweltering heat in prisons without air conditioning has long been an issue in the South, extreme heat waves worsened by climate change are expanding the problem into Northern states. In recent years, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin have seen extreme heat in prisons. Many of these states lack the necessary infrastructure for […]