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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Duane, Marina; La Vigne, Nancy G.; Reimal, Emily; Lynch, Mathew
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Criminal background checks continue to be a routine practice among many employers in the United States. According to a recent survey, almost 60 percent of employers screen job applicants for their criminal histories. Despite their prevalence, criminal background checks often generate flawed or incomplete reports, with some reports failing to include conviction information. Such flaws may undermine the value of the screenings to employers and prevent suitable candidates who pose no additional risk to the public from securing a job. This report examines criminal background checks as a significant collateral consequence for justice-involved people and explores the importance of employment to reducing recidivism. (Author abstract)

    Criminal background checks continue to be a routine practice among many employers in the United States. According to a recent survey, almost 60 percent of employers screen job applicants for their criminal histories. Despite their prevalence, criminal background checks often generate flawed or incomplete reports, with some reports failing to include conviction information. Such flaws may undermine the value of the screenings to employers and prevent suitable candidates who pose no additional risk to the public from securing a job. This report examines criminal background checks as a significant collateral consequence for justice-involved people and explores the importance of employment to reducing recidivism. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Varner, Charles; Mattingly, Marybeth; Grusky, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    In recent years, much attention has been paid to the changing structure of U.S. income inequality, but somewhat less to the changing structure of U.S. poverty. Why has the discussion of "new poverty facts" been sidelined? It is certainly not because the changes have been minor or unimportant. To the contrary, the landscape of U.S. poverty appears to be changing rapidly, with many of the most popular proposals to reform the country's safety net motivated precisely by new empirical developments. But these developments have typically been invoked in piecemeal fashion and have not captivated the country to the extent that the spectacular takeoff in income inequality has. Although there are many reasons for this reticence (including the obvious one that recent trends in income inequality are, by any standard, especially dramatic), we cannot dismiss the frequently voiced worry that an open discussion would be counterproductive because some reformers might seize on that discussion to justify reforms oriented more toward reducing spending than reducing poverty. This worry...

    In recent years, much attention has been paid to the changing structure of U.S. income inequality, but somewhat less to the changing structure of U.S. poverty. Why has the discussion of "new poverty facts" been sidelined? It is certainly not because the changes have been minor or unimportant. To the contrary, the landscape of U.S. poverty appears to be changing rapidly, with many of the most popular proposals to reform the country's safety net motivated precisely by new empirical developments. But these developments have typically been invoked in piecemeal fashion and have not captivated the country to the extent that the spectacular takeoff in income inequality has. Although there are many reasons for this reticence (including the obvious one that recent trends in income inequality are, by any standard, especially dramatic), we cannot dismiss the frequently voiced worry that an open discussion would be counterproductive because some reformers might seize on that discussion to justify reforms oriented more toward reducing spending than reducing poverty. This worry sometimes leads to less-than-transparent discussion. We offer this article in the admittedly quaint hope that it is better to operate with full and complete transparency and that an open and honest discussion of the facts will in the end lead to informed poverty-reducing policy. The simple predicate of this piece is that, given the massive externalities brought on by running a high-poverty economy, there is an open-and-shut case for reform efforts that are authentically focused on reducing the poverty rate. We will attempt, therefore, to identify the key poverty facts that such legitimate reform efforts should bear in mind. In the course of doing so, we will reveal how the current array of reform proposals, including those published here, attend to different sets of stylized facts. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Pac, Jessica; Nam, Jaehyun; Waldfogel, Jane; Wimer, Chris
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Between 1968 and 2013, the poverty rate of young children age 0 to 5 years fell by nearly one third, in large part because of the role played by anti-poverty programs. However, young children in the U.S. still face a much higher rate of poverty than do older children in the U.S. They also continue to have a much higher poverty rate than do young children in other developed countries around the world. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs in addressing poverty among young children, using an improved measure of poverty, the Supplemental Poverty Measure. We examine changes over time and the current status, both for young children overall and for key subgroups (by child age, and by child race/ethnicity). Our findings can be summarized in three key points. First, poverty among all young children age 0–5 years has fallen since the beginning of our time series; but absent the safety net, today's poverty rate among young children would be identical to or higher than it was in 1968. Second, the safety net plays an...

    Between 1968 and 2013, the poverty rate of young children age 0 to 5 years fell by nearly one third, in large part because of the role played by anti-poverty programs. However, young children in the U.S. still face a much higher rate of poverty than do older children in the U.S. They also continue to have a much higher poverty rate than do young children in other developed countries around the world. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of trends in poverty and the role of anti-poverty programs in addressing poverty among young children, using an improved measure of poverty, the Supplemental Poverty Measure. We examine changes over time and the current status, both for young children overall and for key subgroups (by child age, and by child race/ethnicity). Our findings can be summarized in three key points. First, poverty among all young children age 0–5 years has fallen since the beginning of our time series; but absent the safety net, today's poverty rate among young children would be identical to or higher than it was in 1968. Second, the safety net plays an increasing role in reducing the poverty of young children, especially among Black non-Hispanic children, whose poverty rate would otherwise be 20.8 percentage points higher in 2013. Third, the composition of support has changed from virtually all cash transfers in 1968, to about one third each of cash, credit and in-kind transfers today. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dalaker, Joseph
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Poverty measures convey the number or percentage of people falling below given income amounts, which are intended to represent a level of economic privation and are computed using some factually based measurement of basic needs. The poverty measures discussed in this report—the official U.S. poverty measure and the research Supplemental Poverty Measure— focus on financial resources. A family’s income is compared against a dollar amount representing some measure of need, called a threshold, which typically varies by family size and composition. Those with family income less than the threshold are considered to be “in poverty,” or poor; those with incomes greater than or equal to the threshold are not considered to be in poverty. All members of the same family have the same poverty status. The poverty measures discussed here are financial measures; they do not directly capture the physical, mental, or social effects of being poor. They were developed to accurately measure economic privation rather than to describe the full complement of resources a person or family needs to be self...

    Poverty measures convey the number or percentage of people falling below given income amounts, which are intended to represent a level of economic privation and are computed using some factually based measurement of basic needs. The poverty measures discussed in this report—the official U.S. poverty measure and the research Supplemental Poverty Measure— focus on financial resources. A family’s income is compared against a dollar amount representing some measure of need, called a threshold, which typically varies by family size and composition. Those with family income less than the threshold are considered to be “in poverty,” or poor; those with incomes greater than or equal to the threshold are not considered to be in poverty. All members of the same family have the same poverty status. The poverty measures discussed here are financial measures; they do not directly capture the physical, mental, or social effects of being poor. They were developed to accurately measure economic privation rather than to describe the full complement of resources a person or family needs to be self-sufficient. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Olson, Steve
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2017

    After decades of increases in the obesity rate among U.S. adults and children, the rate recently has dropped among some populations, particularly young children. What are the factors responsible for these changes? How can promising trends be accelerated? What else needs to be known to end the epidemic of obesity in the United States?

    To examine these and other pressing questions, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, held a workshop in September 2016. The workshop brought together leaders from business, early care and education, government, health care, and philanthropy to discuss the most promising approaches for the future of obesity prevention and treatment. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop. (Author abstract)

    After decades of increases in the obesity rate among U.S. adults and children, the rate recently has dropped among some populations, particularly young children. What are the factors responsible for these changes? How can promising trends be accelerated? What else needs to be known to end the epidemic of obesity in the United States?

    To examine these and other pressing questions, the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, held a workshop in September 2016. The workshop brought together leaders from business, early care and education, government, health care, and philanthropy to discuss the most promising approaches for the future of obesity prevention and treatment. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop. (Author abstract)

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