Urban Institute researchers examine gender inequalities, racial segregation, and the mutually reinforcing disparities they cause in education, housing, employment, income, and health care.
Our experts analyze race and gender gaps in student test scores, measure unequal treatment toward minorities in the housing market, and study the persistent discrimination that feeds wealth and income gaps. We also probe the unique challenges of single mothers, noncustodial fathers, and hard-to-employ young men—and evaluate the public and private programs designed to help them.
Early disposition or "fast-track" programs in federal sentencing allow a prosecutor to offer a reduced sentence in exchange for a defendant's prompt guilty plea and waiver of certain legal rights. Based on immigration cases in federal districts, this study finds that fast-track participants received a modest reduction in sentence length compared to otherwise similar non-participants. The estimated reduction in case processing time attributable to fast-track programs was also of moderate consequence to the government. The report discusses policy implications of fast-track processing in terms of organizational efficiency and fair treatment of defendants in federal court.
This report explores the feasibility of using electronic health record (EHR) and other electronic health data for research on small populations. The first part of the report illustrates the challenges and limitations of using existing federal surveys and federal claims databases for studying small populations. The second part explores the potential of the increasingly available EHR and other existing electronic health data to complement federal data sources, as well as potential next steps to demonstrate and improve the feasibility of using EHRs for research on small populations.
This brief explores the education and employment outcomes of disconnected low-income men in 2008–10. These men have lower education levels than higher-income men. Among low-income men, Hispanics are less likely than African Americans and whites to complete high school. Low-income men are more likely to be unemployed and underemployed; African Americans are the most likely to be unemployed. Education and employment rates for low-income men vary considerably by metropolitan area.
The Urban Institute, with funding from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, US Department of Health and Human Services, convened a symposium to explore the state of knowledge on disconnected low-income men and promising strategies for improving their well-being, focusing particularly on men of color. The participants included ethnographers and other qualitative researchers, social service providers, foundation program officers, and federal government staff. The candid insights offered enriched understanding of the complex problems faced by low-income men, the programs currently serving their needs, and some of the issues about which more study is needed.
Incarceration rates have risen over time and vary by race and ethnicity, reflecting changes in federal and state crime policies over the past few decades. In 2011, African American men were six times more likely and Hispanics nearly two and half times more likely to be imprisoned than white men. This brief summarizes some of the disparate impacts these policies have had on African American and Hispanic men and the consequences for their families and communities.