Amanda Hernández

Amanda Hernández

Amanda Hernández covers criminal justice for Stateline. She has reported for both national and local outlets, including ABC News, USA Today and NBC4 Washington.

Releasing suspects pretrial doesn’t lead to higher crime rates, experts say

By: - February 22, 2024

Politicians on both sides of the debate often connect bail policy to crime rates. But experts note that much of the crime data that states and cities use is unreliable.

Car thefts and carjackings are up. Unreliable data makes it hard to pinpoint why.

By: - February 9, 2024

Between 2019 and 2023, car thefts and carjackings increased dramatically, by 105% and 93%, a new Council on Criminal Justice’s report says.

Philadelphia is latest city to restrict ski masks in public spaces

By: - January 12, 2024

Philadelphia's ban, introduced last June, came after a series of fatal shootings involving masked suspects.

How many inmates return to prison? Inconsistent reporting makes it hard to tell.

By: - December 11, 2023

Recidivism rates nationwide can vary greatly because of how they’re defined, how the data is collected and how it’s presented to the public.

High fees, long waits cast shadow over new criminal expungement laws

By: - November 28, 2023

Lawmakers across the political spectrum say clearing or sealing criminal records will help people find jobs and housing.

Cash bail policies are under fresh scrutiny

By: - November 13, 2023

Some states, including New Jersey, have largely eliminated cash bail to reduce inequities. But other states are taking the opposite approach.

Politicians love to cite crime data. It’s often wrong.

By: - October 27, 2023

Law enforcement agencies’ inability — or refusal — to send their crime data to the FBI has resulted in a distorted picture of the nation's crime trends.

AI bots are helping 911 dispatchers with their workload

By: - October 16, 2023

The integration of AI technology into 911 centers is partly a response to an acute staffing crisis and the pressing need to address the mental health challenges that emergency responders face.

It’s hazing season on college campuses. State safeguards are uneven.

By: - September 27, 2023

Some experts and anti-hazing advocates say the penalties in some states aren’t harsh enough to deter organizations from participating in hazing.

Cities are embracing teen curfews, though they might not curb crime

By: - August 28, 2023

Sea Isle City, New Jersey, is among the more than dozen cities and counties have reinstated or enforced juvenile curfews this year.

Stifling prison heat used to be just a Southern problem. Not anymore.

By: - August 14, 2023

Some advocates have argued that hot conditions in prisons constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.