Obama: Mayors, other leaders to help minority boys

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is broadening a program that is designed to help make young minority men’s lives better.

The White House says the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative will begin working with mayors and tribal and community leaders to develop a “cradle to college and career strategy” for these young people. Many are at risk of not completing their educations or falling into the criminal justice system.

Obama is announcing the expansion Saturday night at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual awards dinner in Washington.

Details will be released next week.

Obama unveiled the “My Brother’s Keeper” program at the White House in February. Businesses, foundations and community groups coordinate investments to develop or support programs geared toward young men of color. Educators and top athletes also participate.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

Advertisements

Seattle Action Network Supports: Self-Sufficiency Project

The Self-Sufficiency Project was a Canadian experiment in the 1990s that provided a “generous, time-limited earnings supplement available to single parents who had been on welfare for a least a year, and who subsequently left welfare and found full-time work.”

The study found that individuals offered a SSP subsidy were four percent more likely to stay on welfare to receive the benefit, but once people qualified for the SSP supplement, 44% left welfare dependence and were employed full-time–defined as working at least 30 hours a week.

The program was interesting since increases in employment boosted payroll and other taxes to a large enough extent that the subsidy paid for itself.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

Seattle Action Network Supports: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act

Great_Seal_of_the_United_States_(obverse).svg

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) is a United States federal law considered to be a fundamental shift in both the method and goal of federal cash assistance to the poor. The bill added a workforce development component to welfare legislation, encouraging employment among the poor. The bill was a cornerstone of the Republican Contract with America and was introduced by Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-FL-22).

Bill Clinton signed PRWORA into law on August 22, 1996, fulfilling his 1992 campaign promise to “end welfare as we have come to know it”.

PRWORA instituted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which became effective July 1, 1997. TANF replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program—which had been in effect since 1935—and supplanted the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training program (JOBS) of 1988.

The law was heralded as a “reassertion of America’s work ethic” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, largely in response to the bill’s workfare component. TANF was reauthorized in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

The California Endowment: Youth Justice Policy Board

fundation_int_sidebar

For the California Endowment, Commonweal staffs a Youth Justice Policy Board (YJPB) of distinguished California professionals and experts in the youth justice field. The Policy Board conducts reviews of California youth justice issues, programs and policies and advises the Endowment on reform strategies.

The Policy Board has adopted two action plans:

Leadership: addresses the need for central state leadership for juvenile justice program and policy development. The focus is on building the capacity of the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) as the state’s lead agency in this regard. This action plan is being implemented via a new Board of State and Community Corrections Juvenile Justice Standing Committee (JJSC Members List) on which eight members of the Youth Justice Policy Board now serve.

Juvenile justice data and performance measures: supporting upgrades of California’s outmoded juvenile justice data systems, with the objective of improving system performance measures and raising the level and quality of juvenile justice information available to stakeholders, policymakers and the public.

Health Happens Here: The Policy Board’s agenda is linked closely to the principles and objectives of the “Health Happens Here” policy framework of the Endowment, which includes these policy reform efforts:

School discipline: The Endowment has supported a collaborative effort to change school discipline policies that result in the needless suspension and expulsion of pupils who are predominantly youth of color. In 2012, this effort led to the adoption of a legislative package that revised suspension and expulsion procedures in California.

Trauma informed care: Traumatic events in children’s lives have an adverse impact on their personal, social and educational success. Endowment grantees have collaborated to disseminate research and to train justice and school personnel on trauma-informed and trauma-responsive approaches.

Equal justice: Under the Endowment’s Boys and Men of Color (BMOC) initiative (and more recently, the Sons and Brothers collaborative), grantee organizations are taking action to implement justice system and community safety reforms to reduce disproportionate incarceration and to support positive outcomes for justice-involved youth of color.

Read more FULL ARTICLE

The California Wellness Foundation: Youth Violence Prevention

Youth_Prevention_Chart-300x196

Youth Prevention Chart

The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) has been the state’s leading philanthropy tackling the problem of youth violence in California. Their Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, launched in 1993, advanced a public health model of reform addressing two main areas: reducing firearm injury and death, and increasing state resources for youth crime and violence prevention.

Commonweal has consistently promoted the TCWF priority of increasing state resources for crime and violence prevention. Commonweal has tracked state spending for youth crime and violence prevention programs since 1997 (see chart). Commonweal also played a lead role in the creation large state revenue streams supporting youth service programs, including the Schiff-Cardenas Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) which has supplied more than $1.2 billion for these programs over the last 13 years.

TCWF grantees working on firearm reduction policy were successful as well—promoting new legislative controls on automatic weapons, augmenting rules on handgun safety and encouraging local ordinances to control firearm proliferation.

Though the TCWF initiative ended in 2003, the foundation has continued to provide core support grants to help organizations to sustain the policy and safety gains realized during the Initiative. As a grantee, Commonweal provides the following services:

Advising the foundation on program and policy development
Working with state and community leaders to improve supervision and re-entry programs and strategies for juvenile offenders returning to home communities
Producing detailed analyses (digests) of legislative bills pending in each session of the California legislature, including vote status, and periodic budget reports for advocates and stakeholders
Policy advocacy to support TCWF violence prevention objectives, though a well-developed network of contacts with state and local policy leaders.

Read more FULL ARTICLE