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Crime and Justice

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The criminal justice system's actions in both preventing and responding to criminal behavior have implications for the safety, well-being, and financial stability of communities throughout the country.

In an era of diminishing state and federal budgets and limited resources for community services, it is critical that research and analysis is available to guide the allocation of scarce criminal justice resources in a manner that yields the most beneficial impact on the individuals and jurisdictions affected by crime.

Justice Policy Center

Researchers in the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center produce such research, evaluating programs and analyzing data in an effort to guide federal, state, and local stakeholders in making sound decisions that will increase the safety of communities nationwide.

Featured Justice Policy Center Research

 
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Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex (Research Report)
Meredith Dank, Jennifer Yahner, Kuniko Madden, Isela Banuelos, Lilly Yu, Andrea Ritchie, Mitchyll Mora, Brendan Conner

Based on interviews with 283 youth in New York City, this is the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter. The report documents these youth’s experiences and characteristics to gain a better understanding of why they engage in survival sex, describes how the support networks and systems in their lives have both helped them and let them down, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of this vulnerable population.

Posted to Web: February 25, 2015Publication Date: February 25, 2015

Certificates of Public Advantage: Can They Address Provider Market Power? (Research Report)
Randall R. Bovbjerg, Robert A. Berenson

Heath care costs too much, largely because American medical providers command high prices. Waves of mergers have consolidated markets for care and created market power for remaining providers. Antitrust has done too little to prevent the merger frenzy, and policy makers badly need additional tools. This case study highlights one underappreciated alternative, a Certificate of Public Advantage. COPAs are unusual, but one has for nearly two decades overseen the behavior and costs of a merged hospital system in western North Carolina. We detail the accomplishments and shortcomings of this quasi-regulatory public oversight, which is more targeted than full-scale rate regulation.

Posted to Web: February 18, 2015Publication Date: February 18, 2015

Early Implementation Findings from Responsible Fatherhood Reentry Projects (Research Report)
Jocelyn Fontaine, Shelli B. Rossman, Lindsey Cramer, Hannah Dodd, Helen Ho, Jeremy Levy, Dave McClure

The Urban Institute is evaluating the implementation of six Community-Centered Responsible Fatherhood Ex-Prisoner Reentry Pilot Projects funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The projects provide soon-to-be and recently released fathers and their families with an array of responsible parenting, healthy relationship, and economic stability services to help stabilize the fathers and their families. Services offered include parenting and relationship classes, financial literacy workshops, domestic violence services, support groups, family activity days, and case management. The pilot projects partner with various criminal justice agencies and community- and faith-based organizations to provide support to fathers and their families.

Posted to Web: February 06, 2015Publication Date: February 06, 2015

Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement (Occasional Paper)
Akiva Liberman, Jocelyn Fontaine

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.

Posted to Web: February 04, 2015Publication Date: February 04, 2015

Former US Reps. Announce Federal Corrections Task Force (Press Release)
Urban Institute

Former US Representatives J.C. Watts, Jr. and Alan Mollohan announced the establishment of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections: a nine-person, bipartisan blue-ribbon panel mandated by Congress to examine challenges in the federal corrections system and develop practical, data-driven policy responses. Watts will serve as the Colson Task Force’s chair and Mollohan will serve as its vice-chair.

Posted to Web: December 09, 2014Publication Date: December 09, 2014

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