Racial equity in record clearance
States have begun passing laws to provide automatic record clearance and reduce the lifelong collateral consequences of criminal justice involvement. However, these new laws may be inadvertently reproducing racial disparities, according to new research focused on California. The authors show how two policy amendments would reduce these disparities dramatically. This research was conducted with the Possibility Lab, was covered by Wired this summer, and was in the August issue of Law and Society Review. A Vox article about SB 731, which Governor Newsom signed yesterday, also cites this research.
High utilization in San Francisco
A new report shows that a small number of vulnerable San Francisco residents are repeatedly cycling in and out of the county’s health and criminal legal systems each year and represent a disproportionately high amount of utilization of these systems. This research was conducted by the California Policy Lab and the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at UCSF. Report
Research finds long-run impacts for state training programs
A new report and accompanying policy brief summarizes findings from an in-depth study conducted with the California Workforce Development Board to estimate the impacts of ten workforce training programs that collectively serve over a million Californians each year. Using data from the CAAL-Skills partnership, the authors were able to estimate causal impacts for 8 of the 10 programs. Of those 8 programs, all 8 had positive impacts on participants’ employment prospects, while 5 of the 8 led to increased earnings. Report and policy brief
Three Strikes law in California
California’s Three Strikes law was enacted in 1994, and a new CPL report shows that thousands of Californians have had their prison sentences lengthened because of the law and that more than one-third of people currently incarcerated in California are serving longer sentences because of the law. Report
Outreach to California college students encouraged them to apply for CalFresh
Congress temporarily expanded eligibility for CalFresh benefits to more college students, and in two experiments, researchers tested whether outreach (via email and postcards) about the expanded eligibility would increase applications and enrollment. In the “email only” experiment, sending an email encouraged students to apply and enroll, and sending two emails worked even better. In the “email + postcard” experiment, receiving both an email and a postcard resulted in about 5% of students applying, almost twice as many as compared to students who were sent just an email. This research was conducted with The People Lab. Policy Briefs
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Job openings at CPL
The California Policy Lab is growing — please share with your networks and help us find great talent!
Note: we anticipate posting a Research Manager opening on our UC Berkeley team on our career page in the next 1-2 weeks.
Job openings elsewhere
CPL staff, affiliates, and graduate fellows presenting at APPAM’s fall conference
At the fall conference for the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) CPL staff, graduate research fellows, and affiliated experts will present research on:
- Mental and behavioral health in the criminal justice system
- Food insecurity in higher education
- Impacts of rapid re-housing for single adults experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles
- An evaluation of the Santa Clara Pre-Arraignment Representation and Review project.
- Understanding and evaluating prosecutorial discretion.
- Alleviating administrative burdens.
Presentation: Hashed-linkages for cross-departmental, privacy-preserving linkages (Nov. 17th)
As part of the BITSS Open Research Seminar, Karla Palos Castellanos will present on CPL’s hashed-linkage toolkit on Nov 17th from 9 – 10AM (PT). The toolkit includes a guide for agency leadership, as well as a technical how-to guide for data analysts. The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) and the UC Berkeley Library are sponsoring this series, which promotes transparency and reproducibility in social science research. The series is free and open to the public. Registration
Steven Raphael interviewed about new report on Three Strikes in CA
Steven Raphael, a co-author of CPL’s new report on Three Strikes, spoke about the research findings on the Davis Vanguard podcast. Raphael explains that at any given point in time, about 35% of California inmates had their sentences lengthened because of Three Strikes. Raphael also explains that the authors found little to no evidence that the law impacted crime rates. Podcast interview.
Panel series: responsible prosecution
Alissa Skog and Johanna Lacoe were invited to present CPL research as part of a Niskanen Center panel series focused on prosecutorial discretion in the criminal justice system. Lacoe presented on a recent study she co-authored on the impact of a referral to a felony pretrial diversion program on case outcomes and subsequent criminal justice contact in San Francisco. Skog presented on research she co-authored on the impact the Make-it-Right restorative justice program had on recidivism. Recording (scroll down to Panel 3)
Pandemic Made You Want A Better Job? California Has A Grant For You
Till von Wachter is interviewed about the Golden State Education and Training Grant, which provides $2,500 for working adults who lost their jobs during the pandemic. According to the article the grant can be used to pay tuition and fees for a qualified training program, or to buy books, or pay for living expenses while enrolled. The California Student Aid Commission is administering the grant.
Reminder emails and postcards lead to higher rates of CalFresh applications from college students, study finds