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Six Strategies for Keeping Families Supported, Connected and Safe

February 14, 2022

In recent years, two concurrent factors have led to an increased focus on how child welfare leaders can work with partners to support families to stay together: the 2018 passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, which created new approaches to a child welfare funding stream to prevent the need for foster care, and a heightened awareness of how discriminatory policies and practices within child welfare lead to unnecessary disruption and separation of families of color.Many states are expanding their efforts to support families and creating new partnerships to fund those efforts. The Annie E. Casey Foundation profiled six innovative efforts across the country. While the focus and stage of development of these partnerships vary, six strategies emerged as important to successful and effective coordination of resources to prevent system involvement and keep families supported, connected and safe.

Greater Kansas City Community Foundation 2020 Annual Report

August 6, 2021

In an unprecedented year, philanthropists responded to a variety of needs and causes. Our 2020 annual report is now available and details how individuals, families and companies gave back last year.

Representation for Some: The Discriminatory Nature of Limiting Representation to Adult Citizens

July 29, 2021

Every 10 years, political districts at all levels of government are redrawn to make sure they are equal in population as required by the U.S. Constitution.1 Currently every state apportions representatives and draws congressional and state legislative districts on the basis of a state's total population.2 That is, when districts are drawn, all people living in the state, including children and noncitizens, are counted for the purposes of representation.However, some Republican political operatives and elected officials aim to unsettle this long-standing prac[1]tice by excluding children and noncitizens from the popu[1]lation figures used to draw state legislative districts.3 Rather than count everyone, states would draw districts based only on the adult citizen population.Making such a break with current practice and prece[1]dent would be of dubious legality and would leave states vulnerable to a host of legal challenges. It also would have major practical implications for redistricting. This study looks at what such a change would mean for representa[1]tion and the allocation of political power in the United States by focusing on its impact three demographically distinct states: Texas, Georgia, and Missouri.

The Power and Problem of Criminal Justice Data: A Twenty-State Review

June 30, 2021

Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.

Warrant Enforcement in Louisville Metro and the City of St. Louis from 2006 –2019: A Cross-site Analysis

December 1, 2020

This report describes and compares bench and fugitive warrant arrests in Jefferson County, Kentucky (hereinafter Louisville Metro) and the City of St. Louis, Missouri during the period 2006 to 2019. The report is based on two site-specific reports that focus on the individual jurisdictions (see "Warrant Arrests in the City of St. Louis: 2002 –2019" and "Examining Warrant Arrests in Jefferson County, Kentucky: 2006 to 2019" for additional details). The goal is to shed light on the enforcement of warrants, which are a large part of policing practice. This comparative approach provides insight into variability in the levels and nature of warrant arrests in communities with differing legal contexts and government structures. This report is a starting point to understand trends in warrant enforcement across two jurisdictions with similar social and economic landscapes. It is our hope that the findings are useful for stakeholders as they consider ways to make the criminal legal system more efficient and equitable. 

Misdemeanor Enforcement Trends Across Seven U.S. Jurisdictions

October 1, 2020

This paper, which is a product of DCJ's Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice ("the Research Network"), examines long-term trends in lower-level enforcement across seven U.S. jurisdictions:  Durham, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY;  New York City, NY; Prince George's County; MD; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO. It draws both on reports that were produced through partnerships between local researchers and criminal justice agency partners as well as updated data the Research Network has published through an interactive online dashboard. The paper analyzed cross-jurisdictional trends in enforcement, including misdemeanor arrest rates broadly, by demographics (race/age/sex), and by charge.

Black Funding Denied: Community Foundation Support for Black Communities

August 1, 2020

In light of the national uprising sparked by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and building on other recent tragic movement moments going back to the 2014 murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri), NCRP is analyzing grantmaking by community foundations across the country to find out exactly how much they are – or are not – investing in Black communities.We started by looking at the latest available grantmaking data (2016-2018) of 25 community foundations (CFs) – from Los Angeles to New Orleans to New York City to St. Paul. These foundations represent a cross section of some of the country's largest community foundations as well as foundations in communities where NCRP has Black-led nonprofit allies.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data

June 1, 2020

This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2017. This is the first analysis of the 2017 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. This study is limited by the quantity and degree of detail in the information submitted.

A Mission to Improve Health: The Story of Missouri’s Expanding Coverage Initiative

December 1, 2019

The Expanding Coverage Initiative (ECI), a five-year investment of Missouri Foundation for Health (Foundation), aimed to dramatically increase enrollment in health insurance by supporting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The initiative's goal was to lower the state's uninsured rate from 13 percent in 2013 to five percent by employing three complementary strategies: (1) Creating awareness of the Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace and subsidies established through the ACA, (2) Assisting with enrollment of individuals, families, and small businesses in health plans through the Marketplace and Missouri's Medicaid program, and (3) Increasing health insurance literacy to help consumers understand how to make an informed choice of health plan and use it once enrolled.The Foundation sought to build and coordinate a broad-based coalition—the Cover Missouri Coalition—and provide a supportive infrastructure, including a team of technical and content experts. Its plan was to muster the collaborative capacity needed to reach individuals across the state who were most likely to be uninsured, including people of color and individuals who were low-income or unemployed. As they planned the ECI, Foundation staff anticipated that by the end of the five-year endeavor, enrollment needs under the ACA would stabilize as the law became the new normal. However, history took unexpected turns, giving rise to substantial barriers to enrolling people in health insurance coverage.A Mission to Improve Health: The Story of Missouri's Expanding Coverage Initiative takes a retrospective look at the ECI, which ended in 2018. This report offers lessons to inform future work of Missouri Foundation for Health, as well as Cover Missouri Coalition partners, other funders, and those working to advance broader health care access.

A Regional Approach to Prosperity for All

September 16, 2019

This GrantCraft case study, developed for Candid's portal, explores how Kauffman Foundation implemented the Kauffman Scholars program to increase college completion for students in Kansas City, Missouri. It includes the perspective on how the foundation transitioned its strategy and included an emphasis on career-readiness and family support to help students persist through challenges and reach their goals.

The Genius of Ordinary People: How the Ferguson Collaborative Became the Voice of the Community

August 1, 2019

As the nation marks five years since the police killing of teenager Mike Brown and the series of protests known as the Ferguson Uprisings, a group of residents in Ferguson, MO, have been working locally since 2014 to take back their power. They refer to themselves as the Ferguson Collaborative and we are proud to shine a spotlight on our grassroots partner in our new report, "The Genius of Ordinary People: How the Ferguson Collaborative Became the Voice of the Community."The report, the first from our Justice Project program, examines how a group of Ferguson community members became activists, changing the City's unconstitutional policing and criminal legal system practices. This group of residents and allies have spent the last five years putting the pressure on local and federal policymakers and courts, ousting a court-appointed official, rallying for the dismissal of thousands of municipal court cases and positioning themselves in powerful seats – including the Ferguson City Council.

The Impact of Handgun Purchaser Licensing Laws on Gun Violence

June 12, 2019

There is a major flaw in federal firearm laws in the U.S. and in most states' laws; prohibited purchasers can acquire firearms from unlicensed private sellers without subjecting themselves to background checks and record-keeping requirements. Violent criminals and traffickers exploit this weakness with fatal consequences. This report discusses the need to improve background checks and handgun purchaser licensing laws which would result in reduced gun deaths.