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Local Government Discretion and Accountability in Sierra Leone (Research Report)
Benjamin Edwards, Serdar Yilmaz, Jameson Boex

Sierra Leone is a small West African country with approximately 6 million people. Since 2002, the nation has made great progress in recovering from a decade-long civil war, in part due to consistent and widespread support for decentralization and equitable service delivery. Three rounds of peaceful elections have strengthened democratic norms, but more work is needed to cement decentralization reforms and strengthen local governments. This paper examines decentralization progress to date and suggests several next steps the government of Sierra Leone can take to overcome the remaining hurdles to full implementation of decentralization and improved local public service delivery.

Posted to Web: April 17, 2014Publication Date: March 01, 2014

Innovations in NYC Health and Human Services Policy: Strengthening Nonprofits through Effective Cross-Center Collaborations (Research Brief)
Saunji Fyffe, Carol J. De Vita

Like most cities, New York City counts on government, business, and nonprofit organizations to work together to create supportive, safe, and productive environments. Although building and sustaining effective partnerships can be mutually beneficial, it is seldom easy to achieve. This brief describes how New York City government and area nonprofits worked together to build meaningful partnerships and collaborations during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration while strengthening the capacity of nonprofit agencies. This brief is one in a series examining selected social service initiatives undertaken during the Bloomberg administration.

Posted to Web: March 17, 2014Publication Date: March 17, 2014

Innovations in NYC Health and Human Services Policy: Procurement and Shared Services (Research Brief)
Carol J. De Vita, Sarah L. Pettijohn

Nonprofit organizations are a vital partner to government in the delivery of human services. Through government contracts, nonprofits deliver a broad range of essential services to local residents. This brief examines three New York City initiatives to improve procurement, save money, and help city agencies and local nonprofits function more efficiently. Undertaken with guidance from the Strengthening Nonprofits Task Force, these initiatives feature innovative uses of electronic storage and information sharing. This brief is one in a series examining selected social service initiatives undertaken during the Bloomberg administration.

Posted to Web: March 17, 2014Publication Date: March 17, 2014

Justice Reinvestment Initiative State Assessment Report (Research Report)
Nancy G. La Vigne, Samuel Bieler, Lindsey Cramer, Helen Ho, Cybele Kotonias, Debbie Mayer, Dave McClure, Laura Pacifici, Erika Parks, Bryce Peterson, Julie Samuels

Seventeen Justice Reinvestment Initiative states are projected to save as much as $4.6 billion through reforms that increase the efficiency of their criminal justice systems. Eight states that had JRI policies in effect for at least one year – Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina – reduced their prison populations. Through the Initiative, states receive federal dollars to assess and improve their criminal justice systems while enhancing public safety. This report chronicles 17 states as they enacted comprehensive criminal justice reforms relying on bipartisan and interbranch collaboration. The study notes common factors that drove prison growth and costs and documents how each state responded with targeted policies.

Posted to Web: January 27, 2014Publication Date: January 27, 2014

17 States Expected to Lower Prisoner Populations, Slow Prison Growth, and Save Billions through Innovative Justice Reforms: Urban Institute Assesses Impact of Federally-Funded Justice Reinvestment Initiative (Press Release)
Urban Institute

Seventeen Justice Reinvestment Initiative states are projected to save as much as $4.6 billion through reforms that increase the efficiency of their criminal justice systems. Eight states that had JRI policies in effect for at least one year – Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina – reduced their prison populations. Through the Initiative, states receive federal dollars to assess and improve their criminal justice systems while enhancing public safety. This report chronicles 17 states as they enacted comprehensive criminal justice reforms relying on bipartisan and interbranch collaboration. The study notes common factors that drove prison growth and costs and documents how each state responded with targeted policies.

Posted to Web: January 27, 2014Publication Date: January 27, 2014

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