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The Processing and Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System: A Scan of Practice and Background Analysis

June 24, 2015 Comments off

The Processing and Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System: A Scan of Practice and Background Analysis
Source: Urban Institute

Mentally ill offenders possess a unique set of circumstances and needs. However, all too often, they cycle through the criminal justice system without appropriate care to address their mental health. Their recurring involvement in the criminal justice system is a pressing concern. This report provides a national landscape on the processing and treatment of mentally ill individuals in the criminal justice system. It also highlights challenges involved in the reintegration of mentally ill offenders into society, the diversity of policies and protocols in state statutes to address such challenges, and promising criminal justice interventions for mentally ill offenders.

Reforming Government Pensions to Better Distribute Benefits: What Are the Options?

June 23, 2015 Comments off

Reforming Government Pensions to Better Distribute Benefits: What Are the Options?
Source: Urban Institute

Efforts to reform the retirement plans provided to state and local government employees are gaining momentum across the country. Yet, the debate has focused almost exclusively on the financial problems of public pension plans, drowning out a broader discussion of how well these plans serve government employees, employers, and taxpayers. This report identifies promising reform options that could more fairly distribute retirement benefits across the public-sector workforce and help governments recruit and retain productive employees. Options include revising the plan benefit formula, offering alternative plan designs, and extending Social Security coverage to all state and local government employees.

Headship and Homeownership: What Does the Future Hold?

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Headship and Homeownership: What Does the Future Hold?
Source: Urban Institute

This longitudinal study of household formation and home ownership rates from 2010 to 2030 reveals that new renters will outpace new homeowners in the coming decades and, that, while there will still be more owners than renters, the homeownership rate will continue to decline. This will create intense competition for rental housing. In addition, the aging of the population will also create the urgency to develop policies to allow the 20 million new seniors that we will have by 2030 to stay in their homes, as most want to do. The study also projects that African Americans will fall further behind and Hispanics will improve their rates of homeownership. These estimates make it clear that we do not have adequate policies in place to support the rental surge and adequate affordable rental housing and homeownership for all, regardless of race and ethnicity.

Investing in Work by Reforming the Earned Income Tax Credit

May 29, 2015 Comments off

Investing in Work by Reforming the Earned Income Tax Credit
Source: Tax Policy Center (Brookings Institution/Urban Institute)

The earned income tax credit (EITC) lifts millions of working families out of poverty, but provides little support to workers without children living at home. Scaling back the EITC and implementing a worker credit based on individual earnings and not contingent on having children at home could provide substantial benefits to all low-income workers, ease administration for the IRS, and encourage work for childless individuals and secondary earners. A broadly available $1,500 would cost around $870 billion over 10 years; scaled back options are also available.

American Driving Survey: Methodology and Year One Results, May 2013 – May 2014

May 22, 2015 Comments off

American Driving Survey: Methodology and Year One Results, May 2013 – May 2014
Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety/Urban Institute

On behalf of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Urban Institute conducts a continuous survey to measure the driving behavior of the American public. The American Driving Survey is a national survey of persons 16 and over who drive of light vehicles (autos, SUVs, trucks) and reside in households with landline telephone service and/or cellular telephones. The survey commenced in May 2013 and is ongoing. The results of the first year’s data collection are presented in this report.

Millennial Childbearing and the Recession

May 6, 2015 Comments off

Millennial Childbearing and the Recession
Source: Urban Institute

This brief is part of an Urban Institute study of the Millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 1995, exploring its diversity, demographics, and policy implications. Between 2007 and 2012, birth rates among twenty-something women declined more than 15 percent. A dramatic decline in birth rates among unmarried women is the most important factor in the overall reduction in childbearing among African Americans and Hispanics. It remains to be seen whether the Millennial women who eschewed childbearing from 2007–12 will compensate by exhibiting higher birth rates later or if this generation will have fewer children than its older counterparts.

Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement

April 20, 2015 Comments off

Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement
Source: Urban Institute

Boys and young men of color are overrepresented in all aspects of the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, at considerable cost to those involved, their families, and their communities. This overrepresentation is most acute for African Americans, although other communities of color are also affected. This paper reviews systemic, institutional, and community policies and practices that greatly impact the life chances of boys and young men of color. Policy and practice changes that would reduce criminal justice engagement and that would reduce the harms caused to communities of color from criminal justice engagement are identified and suggestions are made for developing more evidence of effectiveness for initiatives in this area.

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