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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: Heinrich, Carolyn J.; Smeeding, Timothy M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    This policy brief, the second of two drawn from the IRP and CHASP conference on "Building Human Capital and Economic Potential," examines the special challenges of people with less than a high school diploma, ex-offenders, and young single mothers and policy options to address them. (author abstract)

    This policy brief, the second of two drawn from the IRP and CHASP conference on "Building Human Capital and Economic Potential," examines the special challenges of people with less than a high school diploma, ex-offenders, and young single mothers and policy options to address them. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edelman, Peter B.; Holzer, Harry J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author...

    In this paper we will briefly review recent trends in employment outcomes for disadvantaged youth, focusing specifically on those who have become "disconnected" from school and the labor market, and why these trends have occurred. We then review a range of policy prescriptions that might improve those outcomes. These policies include: 1) Efforts to enhance education and employment outcomes, both among in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out and becoming disconnected as well as out-of-school youth who have already done so; 2) Policies to increase earnings and incent more labor force participation among youth, such as expanding the eligibility of childless adults (and especially non-custodial parents) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) Specific policies to reduce barriers to employment faced by ex-offenders and non-custodial parents (NCPs). We also consider policies that target the demand side of the labor market, in efforts to spur the willingness of employers to hire these young people and perhaps to improve the quality of jobs available to them.  (author abstract)

    Also published as IRP Discussion Paper 1412-13.

  • Individual Author: Turney, Kristin; Wildeman, Christopher
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    In response to dramatic increases in imprisonment, a burgeoning literature considers the consequences of incarceration for family life, almost always documenting negative consequences. But the effects of incarceration may be more complicated and nuanced and, in this paper, we consider the countervailing consequences of paternal incarceration for a host of family relationships, including fathers’ parenting, mothers’ parenting, and the relationship between parents. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and a rigorous research design, we find recent paternal incarceration sharply diminishes parenting behaviors among residential fathers but not among nonresidential fathers. Virtually all of the association between incarceration and parenting among residential fathers can be explained by changes in fathers’ relationships with their children’s mothers. The consequences for mothers’ parenting, however, are inconsistent and weak. Furthermore, our findings show recent paternal incarceration sharply increases the probability a mother will repartner,...

    In response to dramatic increases in imprisonment, a burgeoning literature considers the consequences of incarceration for family life, almost always documenting negative consequences. But the effects of incarceration may be more complicated and nuanced and, in this paper, we consider the countervailing consequences of paternal incarceration for a host of family relationships, including fathers’ parenting, mothers’ parenting, and the relationship between parents. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and a rigorous research design, we find recent paternal incarceration sharply diminishes parenting behaviors among residential fathers but not among nonresidential fathers. Virtually all of the association between incarceration and parenting among residential fathers can be explained by changes in fathers’ relationships with their children’s mothers. The consequences for mothers’ parenting, however, are inconsistent and weak. Furthermore, our findings show recent paternal incarceration sharply increases the probability a mother will repartner, potentially offsetting some losses in the involvement of the biological father while simultaneously leading to greater family complexity. Taken together, the collateral consequences of paternal incarceration for family life are complex and countervailing. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mead, Lawrence M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    How might work levels among low-income men be raised, as they were for welfare mothers in the 1990s? This study expands the relevant literature on both social policy and implementation. Low-skilled men owing child support and ex-offenders returning from prison are already supposed to work but often fail to do so. The reasons include both the recent fall in unskilled wages and the confusion of men’s lives. Existing work programs in child support and criminal justice appear promising, although evaluations are limited. A survey covering most states shows that half or more already have some men’s work programs, usually on a small scale. Field research in six states suggests the political and administrative factors that shape wider implementation of these programs. Work programs should preferably be mandatory, stress work over training, and be combined with improved wage subsidies. The federal government should provide more funding and evaluations. (author abstract)

    How might work levels among low-income men be raised, as they were for welfare mothers in the 1990s? This study expands the relevant literature on both social policy and implementation. Low-skilled men owing child support and ex-offenders returning from prison are already supposed to work but often fail to do so. The reasons include both the recent fall in unskilled wages and the confusion of men’s lives. Existing work programs in child support and criminal justice appear promising, although evaluations are limited. A survey covering most states shows that half or more already have some men’s work programs, usually on a small scale. Field research in six states suggests the political and administrative factors that shape wider implementation of these programs. Work programs should preferably be mandatory, stress work over training, and be combined with improved wage subsidies. The federal government should provide more funding and evaluations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kirk, David S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Louisiana Gulf Coast, damaging many of the neighborhoods where ex-prisoners typically reside. Given the residential destruction resulting from Hurricane Katrina, it is unclear whether the resulting geographic displacement of returning prisoners has had any adverse, or even beneficial, impact on the likelihood of recidivism. It may be the case that Hurricane Katrina induced turning points in the life course of former prisoners by separating these individuals from the criminal peers and the criminal temptations that contributed to their criminality in the past. Yet estimating the causal impact of residential migration on the likelihood of recidivism is complicated by the issue of selection bias—the possibility that some unmeasured characteristic of prisoners influences both where they live and their criminal behavior, and may therefore account for any relation between residential change and recidivism. In this study, I utilize a natural experiment as a means of addressing the selection issue, and seek to establish whether the migration...

    In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Louisiana Gulf Coast, damaging many of the neighborhoods where ex-prisoners typically reside. Given the residential destruction resulting from Hurricane Katrina, it is unclear whether the resulting geographic displacement of returning prisoners has had any adverse, or even beneficial, impact on the likelihood of recidivism. It may be the case that Hurricane Katrina induced turning points in the life course of former prisoners by separating these individuals from the criminal peers and the criminal temptations that contributed to their criminality in the past. Yet estimating the causal impact of residential migration on the likelihood of recidivism is complicated by the issue of selection bias—the possibility that some unmeasured characteristic of prisoners influences both where they live and their criminal behavior, and may therefore account for any relation between residential change and recidivism. In this study, I utilize a natural experiment as a means of addressing the selection issue, and seek to establish whether the migration of ex-prisoners away from their former place of residence will lead to lower levels of recidivism. Findings suggest that moving away from former geographic areas substantially lowers an ex-prisoner’s likelihood of re-incarceration. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

     

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