Urban Institute researchers examine gender inequalities, racial segregation, and the mutually reinforcing disparities they cause in education, housing, employment, income, and health care.
Our experts analyze race and gender gaps in student test scores, measure unequal treatment toward minorities in the housing market, and study the persistent discrimination that feeds wealth and income gaps. We also probe the unique challenges of single mothers, noncustodial fathers, and hard-to-employ young men—and evaluate the public and private programs designed to help them.
While substantial progress has been made in spreading performance measurement across the country and world, much of the information from performance measurement systems has been shallow. Modern technology and the considerable demand for information on progress in achieving the outcomes of public programs and policies are creating major opportunities for considerably improving the usefulness of performance information. This report provides a number of recommendations to help public and private service organizations take advantage of these opportunities, particularly for:(a) selecting appropriate performance indicators and data collection procedures; (b) analyzing and reporting the information; and (c) using the information to improve services.
What role can policymakers play in helping families rebuild their balance sheets after the Great Recession and in helping young families, families of color, and those with less education who were falling behind even prior to it? This brief, based on a convening of nearly 25 national wealth-building experts, presents the facts and identifies four promising policy reforms: (1) providing universal children’s savings accounts; (2) reforming the mortgage interest deduction to better target incentives; (3) expanding access to retirement accounts and automatic enrollment; and (4) promoting emergency savings while addressing barriers such as asset tests in safety net programs.
The Urban Institute examined racial disparities in the probation revocation rates in Iowa’s Sixth Judicial District. Black probationers in the study sample were revoked at significantly higher rates than both white and Hispanic probationers. Disparities in revocation outcomes persisted after controlling for available legal and demographic factors. A little over half of the black-white disparity in revocation rates was attributable to group differences in characteristics other than race. This brief situates the study in the context of the SJD’s past efforts addressing disparities in probation processes and outcomes and discusses potential future directions in light of the study findings.
This brief presents summary findings from an Urban Institute study examining the degree of racial and ethnic disparity in probation revocation outcomes and the drivers of that disparity in four diverse probation jurisdictions. Black probationers were revoked at higher rates than white and Hispanic probationers in all study sites. Differences in risk assessment scores and criminal history were major contributors to the black–white disparity. Results for disparity to the disadvantage of Hispanic probationers were mixed. The brief concludes with a discussion of policy implications for probation and the criminal justice system as a whole.
The Urban Institute examined racial disparities in probation revocation rates in Multnomah County, Oregon. Black probationers in the study sample were twice as likely to experience a revocation as were white and Hispanic probationers, although the base rate of revocations was very low for all groups. Disparities in revocation outcomes persisted after controlling for available legal and demographic factors. This brief situates the study in the context of Multnomah County’s past efforts to improve probation practices and address disparities in probation processes and outcomes. It discusses policy implications and future directions for improvement in light of the study findings.