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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: Farrell, Mary ; Hamilton, Gayle ; Schwartz, Christine ; Storto, Laura
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Michigan’s current welfare-to-work program evolved over the past decade from one that emphasized participation in education and training activities to one that focused on quick job entry as the route to financial independence for welfare recipients. In addition, it shifted many of the responsibilities previously performed by the welfare department to private and public organizations outside the welfare department and exempted fewer welfare recipients from participating in the program. The program that emerged became one of the keystones of Michigan’s overall welfare reform program, which was approved for implementation under the 1996 law.

    This report examines the welfare-to-work programs operated in two of Detroit’s welfare districts: Fullerton-Jeffries and Hamtramck. It describes Michigan Opportunity and Skills Training (MOST), an education-focused program that was in place in these two offices in 1992 at the start of the evaluation, and the transition to Work First, an employment-focused program emphasizing job search services that was implemented in October 1994 and is...

    Michigan’s current welfare-to-work program evolved over the past decade from one that emphasized participation in education and training activities to one that focused on quick job entry as the route to financial independence for welfare recipients. In addition, it shifted many of the responsibilities previously performed by the welfare department to private and public organizations outside the welfare department and exempted fewer welfare recipients from participating in the program. The program that emerged became one of the keystones of Michigan’s overall welfare reform program, which was approved for implementation under the 1996 law.

    This report examines the welfare-to-work programs operated in two of Detroit’s welfare districts: Fullerton-Jeffries and Hamtramck. It describes Michigan Opportunity and Skills Training (MOST), an education-focused program that was in place in these two offices in 1992 at the start of the evaluation, and the transition to Work First, an employment-focused program emphasizing job search services that was implemented in October 1994 and is one component of Michigan’s current welfare reform program. It follows for two years the welfare recipients who were assigned to MOST, almost one-quarter of whom were referred to the Work First program within the two-year period, and examines the types of services and messages that they received, the cost of both strategies, and the effects of the treatment received on welfare receipt, employment, and earnings. It follows an early group of individuals for three years.

    The Detroit welfare-to-work program is being evaluated as part of the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS Evaluation; formerly called the JOBS Evaluation), conducted by the MDRC under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the U.S. Department of Education and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. NEWWS is a comprehensive study of 11 welfare-to-work programs in seven sites. Throughout this report, comparisons are made between the Detroit program and the other NEWWS programs. Two recently released reports provide a more comprehensive comparison among all programs, including results on children’s well-being, child care use while employed, supports provided to individuals who leave welfare for employment, and additional measures of self-sufficiency. A future report will examine five-year results for all programs and will compare program benefits with program costs.

     

    author abstract.

  • Individual Author: Moore, Quinn; Wood, Robert G.; Rangarajan, Anu
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    This study analyzes factors associated with transitions into and out of disconnectedness, which is defined as being disconnected from the labor market, welfare, and other substantial financial supports. Findings are based on discrete-time hazard models estimated with a sample of New Jersey welfare recipients followed for 5 years. Work history, human capital, policy environment, and economic conditions are found to be the factors most strongly associated with the dynamics of disconnectedness. More work history and human capital are associated with a lower probability of becoming disconnected and a higher probability of leaving disconnected status for employment. Individuals relying on unemployment insurance benefits are at high risk of becoming disconnected. This suggests that the expiration of such benefits often leads to disconnectedness. Receipt of sanctions for noncompliance with welfare’s work requirements are found to triple the risk of becoming disconnected. Finally, transitions into disconnectedness increase sharply with increases in the unemployment rate. (author abstract...

    This study analyzes factors associated with transitions into and out of disconnectedness, which is defined as being disconnected from the labor market, welfare, and other substantial financial supports. Findings are based on discrete-time hazard models estimated with a sample of New Jersey welfare recipients followed for 5 years. Work history, human capital, policy environment, and economic conditions are found to be the factors most strongly associated with the dynamics of disconnectedness. More work history and human capital are associated with a lower probability of becoming disconnected and a higher probability of leaving disconnected status for employment. Individuals relying on unemployment insurance benefits are at high risk of becoming disconnected. This suggests that the expiration of such benefits often leads to disconnectedness. Receipt of sanctions for noncompliance with welfare’s work requirements are found to triple the risk of becoming disconnected. Finally, transitions into disconnectedness increase sharply with increases in the unemployment rate. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rangarajan, Anu
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    To collect information about employment paths out of welfare and to test innovative ways to promote job retention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) initiated the Post-employment Services Demonstration (PESD). Newly employed welfare recipients in four sites were identified and enrolled in the demonstration. Individuals were assigned at random to an enhanced-services group (program group) or to a regular-services group (control group). Those in the program group had a case manager who helped identify their needs and provided special services to promote job retention. They also provided rapid re-employment services for those who lost jobs. Using qualitative data from focus groups with clients, staff interviews, and client case files, we examined the experiences of newly employed welfare recipients during their transition from welfare to work. Like other single parents who find work, welfare recipients experience many new situations and difficulties. They have to find affordable and reliable child care and transportation, budget for new work expenses, and meet...

    To collect information about employment paths out of welfare and to test innovative ways to promote job retention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) initiated the Post-employment Services Demonstration (PESD). Newly employed welfare recipients in four sites were identified and enrolled in the demonstration. Individuals were assigned at random to an enhanced-services group (program group) or to a regular-services group (control group). Those in the program group had a case manager who helped identify their needs and provided special services to promote job retention. They also provided rapid re-employment services for those who lost jobs. Using qualitative data from focus groups with clients, staff interviews, and client case files, we examined the experiences of newly employed welfare recipients during their transition from welfare to work. Like other single parents who find work, welfare recipients experience many new situations and difficulties. They have to find affordable and reliable child care and transportation, budget for new work expenses, and meet the new demands of the workplace. In addition, welfare mothers often have to deal with new income reporting and accounting rules to continue to receive welfare and other benefits, including transitional child care and transitional Medicaid. Many welfare recipients also find low-paying entry-level positions in occupations with irregular hours or shifts that change to accommodate fluctuating workloads. These circumstances complicate child care and budgeting challenges. Compounding these new demands, many welfare recipients have little in the way of a social support network to help them weather some of the crises that affect their ability to hold a job. In fact, many welfare recipients report that friends and families undermine their efforts to attain self-sufficiency through work. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bushway, Shawn; Stoll, Michael A.; Weiman, David F.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2007

    With the introduction of more aggressive policing, prosecution, and sentencing since the late 1970s, the number of Americans in prison has increased dramatically. While many have credited these “get tough” policies with lowering violent crime rates, we are only just beginning to understand the broader costs of mass incarceration. In Barriers to Reentry? experts on labor markets and the criminal justice system investigate how imprisonment affects ex-offenders’ employment prospects, and how the challenge of finding work after prison affects the likelihood that they will break the law again and return to prison.

    The authors examine the intersection of imprisonment and employment from many vantage points, including employer surveys, interviews with former prisoners, and state data on prison employment programs and post-incarceration employment rates. Ex-prisoners face many obstacles to re-entering the job market—from employers’ fears of negligent hiring lawsuits to the lost opportunities for acquiring work experience while incarcerated. In a study of former prisoners,...

    With the introduction of more aggressive policing, prosecution, and sentencing since the late 1970s, the number of Americans in prison has increased dramatically. While many have credited these “get tough” policies with lowering violent crime rates, we are only just beginning to understand the broader costs of mass incarceration. In Barriers to Reentry? experts on labor markets and the criminal justice system investigate how imprisonment affects ex-offenders’ employment prospects, and how the challenge of finding work after prison affects the likelihood that they will break the law again and return to prison.

    The authors examine the intersection of imprisonment and employment from many vantage points, including employer surveys, interviews with former prisoners, and state data on prison employment programs and post-incarceration employment rates. Ex-prisoners face many obstacles to re-entering the job market—from employers’ fears of negligent hiring lawsuits to the lost opportunities for acquiring work experience while incarcerated. In a study of former prisoners, Becky Pettit and Christopher Lyons find that employment among this group was actually higher immediately after their release than before they were incarcerated, but that over time their employment rate dropped to their pre-imprisonment levels. Exploring the demand side of the equation, Harry Holzer, Steven Raphael, and Michael Stoll report on their survey of employers in Los Angeles about the hiring of former criminals, in which they find strong evidence of pervasive hiring discrimination against ex-prisoners. Devah Pager finds similar evidence of employer discrimination in an experiment in which Milwaukee employers were presented with applications for otherwise comparable jobseekers, some of whom had criminal records and some of whom did not. Such findings are particularly troubling in light of research by Steven Raphael and David Weiman which shows that ex-criminals are more likely to violate parole if they are unemployed. In a concluding chapter, Bruce Western warns that prison is becoming the norm for too many inner-city minority males; by preventing access to the labor market, mass incarceration is exacerbating inequality. Western argues that, ultimately, the most successful policies are those that keep young men out of prison in the first place.

    Promoting social justice and reducing recidivism both demand greater efforts to reintegrate former prisoners into the workforce. Barriers to Reentry? cogently underscores one of the major social costs of incarceration, and builds a compelling case for rethinking the way our country rehabilitates criminals.

    (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 Introduction Shawn Bushway, Michael A. Stoll, and David F. Weiman

    Part I Macro and Micro Contexts of Prisoner Reentry
    Chapter 2 The Regime of Mass Incarceration: A Labor-Market Perspective David F. Weiman, Michael A. Stoll, and Shawn Bushway
    Chapter 3 Finding Work on the Outside: Results from the “Returning Home” Project in Chicago Christy A. Visher and Vera Kachnowski

    Part II The Demand Side of the Labor Market
    Chapter 4 The Effect of an Applicant’s Criminal History on Employer Hiring Decisions and Screening Practices: Evidence from Los Angeles Harry J. Holzer, Steven Raphael, and Michael A. Stoll
    Chapter 5 Two Strikes and You’re Out: The Intensification of Racial and Criminal Stigma Devah Pager
    Chapter 6 Private Providers of Criminal History Records: Do You Get What You Pay For? Shawn Bushway, Shauna Briggs, Faye Taxman, Meridith Thanner, and Mischelle Van Brakle

    Part III From Prison to the Labor Market and Back?
    Chapter 7 Status and the Stigma of Incarceration: The Labor-Market Effects of Incarceration, by Race, Class, and Criminal Involvement Becky Pettit and Christopher J. Lyons
    Chapter 8 Prison-Based Education and Reentry into the Mainstream Labor Market John H. Tyler and Jeffrey R. Kling
    Chapter 9 Local Labor-Market Conditions and Post-Prison Employment Experiences of Offenders Released from Ohio State Prisons William J. Sabol
    Chapter 10 The Impact of Local Labor-Market Conditions on the Likelihood that Parolees Are Returned to Custody Steven Raphael and David F. Weiman

    Part IV Does Prison Work?
    Chapter 11 The Penal System and the Labor Market Bruce Western

  • Individual Author: Bobo, Lawrence; Oliver, Melvin; Johnson, James; Valenzuela, Abel
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2000

    This book cuts through the powerful mythology surrounding Los Angeles to reveal the causes of inequality in a city that has weathered rapid population change, economic restructuring, and fractious ethnic relations. The sources of disadvantage and the means of getting ahead differ greatly among the city's myriad ethnic groups. The demand for unskilled labor is stronger here than in other cities, allowing Los Angeles's large population of immigrant workers with little education to find work in light manufacturing and low-paid service jobs.

    A less beneficial result of this trend is the increased marginalization of the city's low-skilled black workers, who do not enjoy the extended ethnic networks of many of the new immigrant groups and who must contend with persistent negative racial stereotypes.

    Patterns of residential segregation are also more diffuse in Los Angeles, with many once-black neighborhoods now split evenly between blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities. Inequality in Los Angeles cannot be reduced to a simple black-white divide. Nonetheless, in...

    This book cuts through the powerful mythology surrounding Los Angeles to reveal the causes of inequality in a city that has weathered rapid population change, economic restructuring, and fractious ethnic relations. The sources of disadvantage and the means of getting ahead differ greatly among the city's myriad ethnic groups. The demand for unskilled labor is stronger here than in other cities, allowing Los Angeles's large population of immigrant workers with little education to find work in light manufacturing and low-paid service jobs.

    A less beneficial result of this trend is the increased marginalization of the city's low-skilled black workers, who do not enjoy the extended ethnic networks of many of the new immigrant groups and who must contend with persistent negative racial stereotypes.

    Patterns of residential segregation are also more diffuse in Los Angeles, with many once-black neighborhoods now split evenly between blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities. Inequality in Los Angeles cannot be reduced to a simple black-white divide. Nonetheless, in this thoroughly multicultural city, race remains a crucial factor shaping economic fortunes. (author abstract)

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