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Vera Institute of Justice;
In 2015, government agencies in New Orleans collected $4.5 million in the form of bail, fines and fees from people involved in the criminal justice system and, by extension, from their families. Another $4.7 million was transferred from the pockets of residents to for-profit bail bond agents. These costs have become the subject of considerable public attention. Because many "users" of the system have very low incomes or none at all, there is growing concern that charging for justice amounts to criminalizing poverty, especially when people who can't pay become further entangled in the justice system. In 2015, the city spent $6.4 million to incarcerate people who couldn't pay bail or conviction fines and fees. By focusing on bail decisions and fines and fees assessed at conviction, Past Due, and its accompanying technical report, reveals the costs and other consequences of a system that tries to extract money from low-income people and then jails them when they can't pay.
Policy Studies Associates, Inc.;
Can schools and community organizations come together to provide children with critical enrichment activities that enhance knowledge and expand horizons beyond core academics during the school day? This report by Policy Studies Associates, Inc., highlights some ways in which they might.
The report investigates schools' use of the ExpandED Schools model, which seeks to use partnerships between public schools, community organizations and intermediary organizations to increase enrichment opportunities for children. In the model, regular school staffers focus largely on core academics, while a community-based organization offers enrichment activities during expanded school hours. A third, intermediary organization often coordinates and supports the effort.
Researchers studied the use of this model in 10 schools in three cities—New York City, Baltimore and New Orleans—over four years. In this report, they identify the parts of the model that were easiest for the schools to implement, parts that proved more challenging and strategies schools used to overcome hurdles along the way.
It finds that the partnerships were generally most successful in adding new activities to an expanded school day and were able to coordinate efforts between school staff and community organizations. But many schools struggled to find reliable sources of funding and to use data to drive programming and instruction.
Vera Institute of Justice;
Everyone in New Orleans deserves to be safe. We rely on our criminal justice agencies—the police, the courts, and the jail—to ensure public safety, so we should ask ourselves regularly: how well is our system working? By looking at who we hold in our jail and why, we can begin to understand the role of detention in keeping our community safe and inform what our jail needs are, both now and going forward.
Until recently, New Orleans led the nation in jail incarceration: before Katrina, we jailed people at a rate five times the national average. The consequences were dramatic for the tens of thousands of people booked into the jail each year who lost their jobs, homes, and even custody of their children. Instead of making us the safest city in America, this over-use of detention destabilized communities.
How are we using detention today? Generally, people are held in jail for any number of reasons. Therefore, unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question of "who is in our jail?" This report aims to advance an important public conversation about how we are using our jail and how it impacts safety in our city.
Urban League of Greater New Orleans;
Over the past 10 years, tremendous progress has been made in New Orleans. But on our road to recovery, have we reproduced some of the same inequities that existed prior to the storm and impeded people's ability to quickly recover? The wealth gap continues to widen between African Americans and Whites, too many of us are paying unaffordable housing costs, Black men are still targeted and disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, and health disparities continue to threaten the well-being of African Americans in the city. Are we seizing this opportunity to transform the city into a better version of itself, one in which all its residents can prosper and thrive?
The "State of Black New Orleans: 10 Years Post Katrina" hopes to answer these questions (and more) through its analysis of the impact of post-Katrina recovery on the African American community. The publication also offers recommendations to address noted disparities impacting the African American community and to transform the systems that allow these disparities to persist. After all, New Orleans cannot thrive if African Americans, who are the majority of the city's residents, are not thriving as well.
Getty Foundation, The;
When Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana coast on August 29, 2005, the urban fabric of New Orleans was devastated, including a large number of its arts organizations and historic sites. Along with the physical damage to collections and structures caused by the storm, organizations were faced with the fact that post-Katrina New Orleans would be a very different place, one with a changed demographic and far less tourism, and thus business as usual was not going to be possible. The Getty Foundation was among the first institutions to step in and help, establishing a special fund to revitalize the city's cultural institutions as they recovered from the impact of the hurricane.
A decade after Katrina, the Getty Foundation completed a study of the impact of its Fund for New Orleans. One of the key findings of our report is that all of the institutions that received Getty grants have survived, and most are thriving ten years later. Overall the outcomes of the Foundation's support in this area demonstrate that relatively small grants in the face of a disaster of that magnitude, if well designed and executed, can make a difference.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation;
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast and the subsequent levee failure led to unprecedented destruction in New Orleans, the Kaiser Family Foundation teamed up with NPR to conduct a survey of the city's current residents. This work builds on three previous surveys conducted by the Foundation in 2006, 2008, and 2010, as well as a survey of Katrina evacuees in Houston shelters conducted in partnership with the Washington Post in September 2005. The new survey examines how those who are currently living in Orleans Parish feel about the progress the city has made and the lingering challenges it faces, including those brought about by Katrina and those that pre-date the storm.
Overall, the survey paints a portrait of a city whose residents are remarkably optimistic, resilient, and proud of their city's culture. On many fronts, residents' reports of conditions in their own neighborhoods and their evaluations of the city's progress in recovery have improved steadily over the 10-year period since the storm. But in this city where racial disparities in income and employment existed long before Katrina, the survey finds that most of these improvements have been unevenly distributed by race. African Americans continue to lag far behind whites, both in their perceptions of how much progress has been made and in the rates at which they report continuing struggles.
Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE);
A growing number of cities now provide a range of public school options for families to choose from. Choosing a school can be one of the most stressful decisions parents make on behalf of their child. Getting access to the right public school will determine their child's future success. How are parents faring in cities where choice is widely available? This report answers this question by examining how parents' experiences with school choice vary across eight "high-choice" cities: Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Our findings suggest parents are taking advantage of the chance to choose a non-neighborhood-based public school option for their child, but there's more work to be done to ensure choice works for all families.
National Housing Institute;
This report summarizes how McCormack Baron Salazar, a development firm, and its nonprofit subsidiary, Urban Strategies, involved residents in an 18-month redevelopment of New Orleans' C.J. Peete public housing complex after Hurricane Katrina. The National Housing Institute report takes an up-close look at how those charged with redeveloping the public housing development worked with residents throughout the process -- and what they learned along the way.
Greater New Orleans Foundation;
Stand Up for Our Children is an initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) to foster civic participation and empower parents and families to improve the quality of life for the region's most vulnerable children. The initiative was made possible through a $1.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. A fundamental belief of both foundations is that solutions to community problems emanate from local citizens working individually and collectively toward the common good and that people have the inherent capacity to solve their own problems. In that spirit, the Stand Up for Our Children initiative focused on three key outcomes: increasing parent engagement in advocating for vulnerable children 0-5 years old, strengthening nonprofits through organizational capacity building and fostering collaboration among participating organizations.
The initiative's Year One evaluation sought to learn about changes in participants' awareness, knowledge and acquisition of skills. The Year Two evaluation looks at how participants began to apply these knowledge and skills and take action as individuals, organizations and networks. This evaluation considered the Stand Up initiative's activities and impact from September 2013 to August 2014.
Journey For Justice Alliance;
The members of Journey for Justice, are comprised of thousands of youth, parents, and other concerned citizens from communities of color across the United States. They wrote this report because they need the American people to know that the public education systems in our communities are dying. More accurately, they are being killed by an alliance of misguided, paternalistic "reformers," education profiteers, and those who seek to dismantle the institution of public education. Some are being killed quickly; others are still in the early stages. But it is, at this point, quite clear that there will soon be little to nothing left of our public school systems -- and many more like ours -- unless current trends are disrupted.
National Center on Time and Learning;
This report looks deeply inside 17 schools that stand at the vanguard of the current revolution in teaching. It reveals the substantive ways in which these schools are providing their teachers with more time to reflect on, develop, and hone their craft, by very explicitly leveraging an expanded-time school schedule and calendar. These schools' expanded time (on average, they are in session almost 300 hours more per year than the national norm of 1,170 hours) affords not only more hours and days focused on classroom instruction, but also a full array of professional learning opportunities.