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Working Poor Families Project;
This policy brief reports on the first three years of an initiative to work directly with five WPFP state partners in AR, CO, GA, KY, and NC to enhance their state's commitment and ability to serve and support adults and children collectively as well as drive local programs to do so by reviewing the efforts of the five state partners. After first providing more background on Two-Generation efforts across the U.S. in recent years, this brief discusses: 1) the WPFP concept and approach to the initiative; 2) the work of the five state partners, including the state systems identified for this work and specific items identified for improvement within those systems as well as progress to date; and 3) lessons learned and observations of this work with a clear recognition of the challenges and complexities inherent in undertaking systems change work.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation;
As the country becomes more diverse, schools that successfully engage all families will transform learning and leadership. This executive summary captures "takeways" from partnerships forged by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to create environments where teachers, families and community members can effectively collaborate and share power.
Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice;
This report presents the findings of the Parole Exits and Revocation Knowledge System (PERKS) Project. What follows includes, but is not limited to, a consideration of the following: a) a review of existing prac-tices of states that are using structured revocation decision-making models, b) an assessment of enhanced risk, need, and responsivity tools to consider what personal and social capital or crime desistance variables would improve post-prison decision making by the Board, and c) a summary of suggested modifications of relevant policies and procedures
This brief describes why employment equity is critical to Georgia's economic future and lays out a policy roadmap toachieve employment equity. It is based on data analysis and modeling of a "full-employment economy" (defined aswhen everyone who wants a job can find one), which was conducted by the Program for Environmental and RegionalEquity (PERE) at the University of Southern California as well as policy research and focus groups conducted by PolicyLink and the Partnership for Southern Equity.
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky;
Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots is an innovative research initiative sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and administered by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. This multi-part health research project will, in successive reports: measure population health and document disparities in health outcomes in the Appalachian Region compared to the United States as a whole, as well as disparities within the Appalachian Region; identify "Bright Spots," or communities that exhibit better-than-expected health outcomes given their resources; and explore a sample of the Bright Spot communities through in-depth, field-based case studies. Taken together, these reports will provide a basis for understanding and addressing health issues in the Appalachian Region. This research initiative aims to identify factors that support a Culture of Health in Appalachian communities and explore replicable activities, programs, or policies that encourage better-than-expected health outcomes that could translate into actions that other communities can replicate.
This first report, Health Disparities in Appalachia, measures population health in Appalachia and documents disparities between the Region and the nation as a whole, as well as disparities within the Appalachian Region.
Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights;
Imprisoned Justice: Inside Two Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers focuses on the conditions of two detention centers in the state of Georgia: The Stewart Detention Center (Stewart) and the Irwin County Detention Center (Irwin). This report is an update to one created in 2012 titled Prisoners of Proft.
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild;
Just days after winning election, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he intends to round up and deport up to 3 million immigrants.
Such a plan, if carried out immediately, would require a massive – and costly – expansion of America's prison and detention infrastructure at a time when politicians and policymakers across the ideological spectrum are working to reduce the nation's prison population, the world's largest.
And it would likely be a major boost to the fortunes of private prison companies that profit from incarceration – even though most studies show that privately operated prisons are generally more dangerous, less effective and no less expensive than government-run facilities.
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to add 10,000 beds to its immigrant detention system, increasing the capacity to 45,000 immigrants per day. But, as a result of Trump's proposed deportation plan, the DHS could need many thousands more. Unsurprisingly, private prison stocks have soared since Trump's election.
An expansion of the immigrant detention system threatens to greatly exacerbate the mass incarceration crisis in America. And it would violate our nation's basic values and cement our reputation as a country intolerant of immigrants.
The findings of this study demonstrate that the immigrant detention system is already rife with civil rights violations and poor conditions that call into question the DHS's commitment to the due process rights and safety of detainees. Many of these detainees have lived here for years; others recently fled violence in their home countries to seek refuge in the United States.
This report is the result of a seven-month investigation of six detention centers in the South, a region where tens of thousands of people are locked up for months, sometimes even years, as they await hearings or deportation.
The South is a leader in immigration detention, holding one out of every six detainees in the United States. A closer look makes it clear why it holds this distinction.
Detained immigrants in the South are frequently denied the opportunity of a bond hearing that would free them until their cases are adjudicated.
The region's immigration courts, which are often inaccessible to the public, are hostile to immigrants not fortunate enough to have an attorney. And so they wait behind bars in remote Southern facilities virtually indistinguishable from prisons. Many of the facilities are former jails or prisons that were shut down after civil rights investigations and lawsuits revealed poor conditions and abuse.
Now, it's the detainees who face abusive and dangerous conditions at these facilities, which fail to meet basic legal and regulatory standards. And it's the detainees who often find there is little hope for release as their due process rights are denied.
The investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the Adelante Alabama Worker Center focuses on detention centers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. Three are operated by private companies and three by county sheriffs. All are paid by the DHS on a per diem basis.
The report is based on tours of each facility and more than 300 in-person interviews with detainees. They represent more than 5 percent of the average daily population of the detention centers studied. From facility to facility, their stories are remarkably similar accounts of abuse, neglect and rights denied – symptoms of an immigrant detention system where the failures of the nation's immigration system intersect with the failures of its prison system.
Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice;
Georgia has a sentencing system in which "judges fixing the sentence shall prescribe a determinate sentence for a specific number of months and years which shall be within the minimum and maximum sentences prescribed by law as the punishment for the crime." Though the system is characterized in statute as "determinate," Georgia has retained discretionary parole release. The Board of Pardons and Paroles has been active since 1943. Georgia does not have a sentencing commission or sentencing guidelines.
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation;
The report offers a series of short essays from 18 teachers, each reflecting on what inspired and guided them into the teaching profession. Some of the highlights include:
"I've come to realize that my learning process in the classroom actually feels a whole lot like the science I practiced at the bench: engineering experimental procedures, collecting and analyzing data, and formulating questions about next steps. It turns out that my scientific worldview can really improve learning outcomes for my students," said Kristin Milks, a biology and earth science teacher in Bloomington, IN, who enrolled in a teacher preparation program shortly after completing her Ph.D. in biochemistry.
"What transforms someone from being a good teacher to being a great teacher is the passion to make connections with students, to constantly evaluate and adjust their practice to do what is in the students' best interest," said Catherine Ann Haney, a Virginia Spanish teacher who has recently been teaching in Santiago, Chile.
"Enrolling in a teacher education program, instead of starting my career as a teacher first and then obtaining my master's degree after, meant I had a cohort of other soon-to-be teachers to learn with as we persevered through a very rigorous and demanding year," said Jeremy Cress, a math teacher in Philadelphia.
"I realized that being a good math teacher does not mean explaining clearly, making kids like me, or making math fun. Rather, it means giving students the opportunity to solve problems by themselves from start to finish, to struggle and persevere, and to learn from each other's particular strengths," said Brittany Leknes, a math teacher from Sunnyvale, CA.
"Together my students and I co-create their identities, their sense of themselves, and their understanding of their place in society. Because I believe wholly in my students' own power, I teach to disrupt school cultures that suggest that students need to be anything less than their whole selves," said Kayla Vinson, who taught social students in the Harlem Children's Zone.
Created in 2007, the Leonore Annenberg-Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship was designed to serve as the equivalent of a national "Rhodes Scholarship" for teaching. Working with Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, and the University of Washington, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation provided $30,000 stipends for exceptionally able candidates to complete a yearlong master's degree program. In exchange, the teacher candidates agreed to teach for three years in high-need secondary schools across the country. The Leonore Annenberg Teaching Fellowship was funded through grants from the Annenberg Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York. It served as the basis for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's successful Teaching Fellowship program, which now operates in five states (Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio), operating in partnership with 28 universities. Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows complete a rigorous yearlong master's degree program, coupled with a robust yearlong clinical experience. Once they earn their degrees, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows teach in high-need STEM classrooms, while receiving three years of coaching and mentoring.