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Urban Indian Health Institute;
This report assesses the number and dynamics of cases of missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls in cities across the United States and provides recommendations to address the issue. It also discusses why obtaining data on this violence is so difficult, how law enforcement agencies are tracking and responding to these cases, and how media is reporting on them.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
After John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was appointed to serve on the New York White Slavery Grand Jury, he began a long commitment to the cause of prostitution and sex trafficking. This research report outlines initial conclusions based on a review of records in the Rockefeller Archive Center for the ten years after Rockefeller's service on the grand jury. The research report summarizes findings from the archives, previews arguments deriving from the archival documents, and suggests additional future directions for research.
Immigrant Defense Project;
The Immigrant Defense Project closely monitors ICE activity at state courthouses in New York and around the country. Under the Trump administration, we have documented an alarming 1700% increase in ICE arrests and attempted arrests across New York State. The consequent threats to universal access to justice and to public safety are tremendous, as immigrant communities become too afraid to seek justice in criminal, family, and civil courts.
Loyola University Chicago Center for Urban Research and Learning;
The Domestic Violence Outcome Project had a two-fold purpose: first, to identify the long-term outcomes and needs of those who receive services from domestic violence agencies, and second, to establish procedures for on-going evaluation within agencies. Working closely with 15 agencies that are members of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, the researchers developed a survey to evaluate services and identify client needs. The services evaluated included court advocacy (e.g., assistance from an advocate in obtaining an order of protection), legal services (assistance from a licensed attorney with divorce or other court proceedings), emergency shelter, and counseling.
Development of the survey benefited greatly from extensive feedback from service providers and clients and from previous evaluation research. The Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network and the participating agencies administered the survey, which had both an on-line and paper option. Agency staff recruited participants, maintained contact with them over about 6 months, and then had them complete the survey. Here we present findings from analysis of data provided by 450 participants. We also include a discussion of the challenges encountered in sustaining ongoing evaluation in agencies.
One of the key findings of this report is that emergency safety needs (i.e., emergency shelter and getting an order of protection) are no longer the most prominent issues of concern for participants. Fewer than 5% of the sample reported currently needing shelter and fewer than 10% reported needing help getting an order of protection. In contrast, counseling/therapy is now the primary need reported by about 46% of participants. In addition, about a quarter of participants reported a need for help with those things that enable one to sustain a stable and independent household, which is critical to maintaining safety: economic assistance, either in the form of emergency cash, help with credit history, financial planning/literacy, food/clothing, health care, or work. Also, a sizeable minority of participants reported needs (both new and continuing from when they initially sought services) regarding divorce, child support, and visitation. These legal issues are likely to be related to the one outstanding safety concern reported by a substantial minority of survivors, managing contact with the abuser. Few differences among reported needs existed by race/ethnicity, parenting status, or level of socioeconomic resources.
This report begins with a brief introduction to how the project came about and a description of our research methods. Next we present the current needs reported by participants and consider whether there are differences in needs among participants by race/ethnicity, education and income resources, and whether or not they have children. We then examine the relationship of past services to current needs and satisfaction with past services. After that, we consider outcomes of receiving services (e.g., "As a result of receiving services, I feel safe from violence in my home"). Finally, we describe difficulties encountered in sustaining ongoing evaluation in agencies, such as high staff 7 turnover rates and the need for a program coordinator to maintain staff motivation. We conclude with a summary of the findings.
Red Hook Initiative;
In the summer of 2017, the Real Rites Researchers - a group of Red Hook young adults - came together after being tired of witnessing violence, feeling ignored and harassed, and being ready to make a change. The Researchers grew up in Red Hook witnessing violence, disinvestment, and over-policing.
After taking matters into their own hands, the Researchers launched a participatory study about violence and community-building for young adults in Red Hook. The research was conducted by, with, and for their community. This report details their findings and reveals young peoples' desire to be at the forefront of change in their own community.
Dangerous Speech Project;
No one has ever been born hating or fearing other people. That has to be taught – and those harmful lessons seem to be similar, though they're given in highly disparate cultures, languages, and places. Leaders have used particular kinds of rhetoric to turn groups of people violently against one another throughout human history, by demonizing and denigrating others. Vocabulary varies but the same themes recur: members of other groups are depicted as threats so serious that violence against them comes to seem acceptable or even necessary. Such language (or images or any other form of communication) is what we have termed "Dangerous Speech."
Naming and studying Dangerous Speech can be useful for violence prevention, in several ways. First, a rise in the abundance or severity of Dangerous Speech can serve as an early warning indicator for violence between groups. Second, violence might be prevented or at least diminished by limiting Dangerous Speech or its harmful effects on people. We do not believe this can or should be achieved through censorship. Instead, it's possible to educate people so they become less susceptible to (less likely to believe) Dangerous Speech. The ideas described here have been used around the world, both to monitor and to counter Dangerous Speech.
This guide, a revised version of an earlier text (Benesch, 2013) defines Dangerous Speech, explains how to determine which messages are indeed dangerous, and illustrates why the concept is useful for preventing violence. We also discuss how digital and social media allow Dangerous Speech to spread and threaten peace, and describe some promising methods for reducing Dangerous Speech – or its harmful effects on people.
Camps are places of refuge for people fleeing conflict and disaster, but they can be dangerous, especially for women and girls. In their first months, many camps rely on communal sanitation facilities – a quick and cost-effective way of meeting immediate needs and minimizing public health risks until a better solution can be developed.
In 2016, the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) set up a research challenge asking: Does lighting in or around sanitation facilities reduce the risk of gender-based violence (GBV)? During 2017 and 2018, Oxfam and researchers from the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) at Loughborough University carried out research to try to answer this question. This report presents the main findings from this research.
Carsey School of Public Policy at The University of New Hampshire;
This study examines the on-going work of New Hampshire Listens, a convener of deliberative conversations, specific to their work with police-community relationships. Attending particularly to the facilitators and planners of New Hampshire "Blue and You" in a small city, the study found systemic practices of early stakeholder involvement in the planning, holding space for disparate views, promoting storytelling, and creating intimate physical spaces addressed the vulnerability felt by participants. These practices distributed power among stakeholders, aided in preparing participants for the conversation, and fostered neutrality in the forum. They provide several ideas for how deliberation practitioners and scholars might respond to the present polarizing political context.
In 2015, MacArthur Foundation launched the Safety and Justice Challenge—an initiative to tackle over-incarceration, one of America's greatest social problems. The over-use and misuse of jails disproportionately impacts communities of color, people with low-incomes, nonviolent offenders, and those with mental illness. The Challenge supports systems change efforts aimed at safely reducing incarceration and racial and ethnic disparities in jails.
In 2015, the Foundation engaged RTI International to develop an evaluation framework focused on learning. The evaluation of the Safety and Justice Challenge is at the initiative level, thus it does not examine a single program or set of programs but instead seeks to understand how the Safety and Justice Challenge activities contribute to long-lasting and sustainable change within participating jurisdictions' criminal justice systems. Rather than looking at all aspects of the initiative, the evaluation examines the elements that will provide an understanding of what is and isn't working and why and the extent to which efforts are resulting in meaningful change across the multiple jurisdictions and levels of the initiative.
The evaluation design uses quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques and includes activities to measure the outcomes and impact of the initiative. Outcome evaluation activities assess the effects of the Challenge on criminal justice measures within the funded sites relative to a series of comparison sites. Impact evaluation activities document contributions from the Safety and Justice Challenge toward broader national changes in jail populations, increasing public awareness of jail misuse and overuse, and support for systems reform.
Action Change Transform (ACT);
Experiences of working with grassroots peace structures to address electoral conflicts and violence in Kenya.
Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice;
Alabama established a sentencing commission in 2000, and has utilized advisory sentencing standards in felonycases since 2006. In 2013, the Alabama Sentencing Standards grew to include presumptive standards for non-violent offenses. Alabama has a "truth in sentencing" statute that does not take effect until 2020 and will require the court to pronounce a minimum term and an extended term (120% of the minimum term) and mandates post-release supervision. Currently, however, offenders are sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment and may be released on parole, if eligible.