Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest

Publications

"Lawmakers in eighteen states have introduced legislation to curb protests. Citing concerns over 'paid professional protesters' and safety, these laws would increase penalities, and in one case, allowing the state to seize assets of people involved."

Read this story in its entirety at the Washington Post.

The number of children living in poverty in Essex County has increased over the past 15 years, with 1 in 3 children now living in poverty. The number of children in highly concentrated poverty has increased, and is spreading from the City of Newark to its inner ring suburbs. http://www.endinequality.com/home-1/2017/2/2/issues-brief-child-poverty-...
While the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule requires cities to assess their housing stock in order to reduce disparities, the Newark Housing Authority follows the national pattern of dismissing racial integration.
The Peoples Emergency Center Community Development Corporation has developed a new complex of affordable housing projects, designed for low income artists in West Powelton’s Promise Zone in Philadelphia.
It is with great pride that the Rutgers Center on Law, Inequality and Metropolitan Equity (CLiME) announces the release of our literature review for the Trauma, Schools and Poverty Project (TSP). "A Critical Review of the Psychological Literature" provides a critical and comprehensive review of the empirical literature literature on the sequelae of childhood exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTEs), with special emphasis on low socioeconomic status populationsat disparate risk for exposure to PTEs across the lifespan.
A new regional revolving loan fund will support affordable homes close to bus or rail corridors throughout the Puget Sound area.
Diversion is intended to relieve overburdened courts and crowded jails, and to spare low-risk offenders from the consequences of a criminal record; but in many places, only people with money can afford a second chance.
The Morris district is notable in that it has long been committed to diversity, even as the composition of its student body has changed. Meanwhile, schools nearby and in New York City have remained deeply segregated.
Designed for fairness, Florida's point system fails to account for prejudice. The Herald-Tribune spent a year reviewing tens of millions of records in two state databases — one compiled by the state’s court clerks that tracks criminal cases through every stage of the justice system and the other by the Florida Department of Corrections that notes points scored by felons at sentencing.

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Should your ZIP code determine your future? Not according to American ideals of social mobility. American realities, however, tell a different story: Where people grow up goes a long way toward shaping how well they will be educated, how stable their families will be, how high their dreams can soar.
More than 1,200 students, disproportionately black, are arrested under South Carolina's "disturbing schools" law each year, for everything from disobeying a teacher’s order to fighting in the hallway. For many, like Ms. Kenny, it means a first, stinging encounter with the criminal justice system, bringing the stigma of an arrest record and often derailing their schooling — a potential step in what has been described nationally as a pernicious “schools to prison pipeline."
With its searing rebuke of the Baltimore Police Department, the Obama administration has added another chapter in an expanding catalog of investigations that reveal systemic patterns of racial bias in police departments around the country. Each of the nearly two dozen investigations conducted by the Justice Department has uncovered widespread patterns of racial bias, use of excessive force, tactical blunders and poor oversight.
Detroit schools have long been in decline academically and financially. But over the past five years, divisive politics and educational ideology and a scramble for money have combined to produced a public education fiasco that is perhaps unparalleled in the United States.
Too often the gentrification of working class neighborhoods is deemed “inevitable” when it is not. Just as gentrification is often promoted by upzoning and other city laws, communities can pass measures to prevent or at least slow this process.
in 2013, for the first time, a majority of public-school students in this country—51 percent, to be precise—fell below the federal government’s low-income cutoff, meaning they were eligible for a free or subsidized school lunch. It was a powerful symbolic moment—an inescapable reminder that the challenge of teaching low-income children has become the central issue in American education.
"We have to do a better job of assessing the cause of violence, the impact of violence – and this is where trauma-informed care plays a major role," community activist Jack Farrell explains in his interview with CLiME. 
A group of veterans, led by Kristofer Goldsmith, on Capitol Hill in January. He received a less-than-honorable discharge. When he petitioned for an upgrade of it because of undiagnosed PTSD, the Army rejected his appeal. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
A small group of veterans are pushing for a bill in Congress that would overhaul the system by mandating that the military give veterans the benefit of the doubt, requiring the boards to decide cases starting from the presumption that PTSD materially contributed to the discharges.
Despite this profoundly unfair set up, cities like Flint have long been regarded as at fault for their own problems and in need primarily of a stern dose of fiscal temperance (for example, shopping around for supposed basement bargains on crucial contracts like water supply).
They’re designed to provide extra attention to students who suffer from trauma. But are they worth all the extra taxpayer dollars?

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The choices that black families make today are inevitably constrained by a legacy of racism that prevented their ancestors from buying quality housing and then passing down wealth that might have allowed today’s generation to move into more stable communities. And even when black households try to cross color boundaries, they are not always met with open arms: Studies have shown that white people prefer to live in communities where there are fewer black people, regardless of their income.
At a time when poverty and economic insecurity remain widespread in the United States, how does a very poor community like the Highlands strengthen its capacity to improve itself? The transformation is a product of a policy that took root in Washington State in the late 1980s, after youth violence had risen precipitously. Policy makers analyzed the problem and recognized the inter-connectedness of issues usually handled separately: child abuse, domestic violence, dropping out of high school, teen pregnancy, youth substance abuse and youth suicide.
Residents from Van Pelt Road, Shepherds Road and Weavers Lane crowded the committee chambers to standing room only, protesting the anticipated lease of the Holly Thorn House at 143 Readington Road to WayPointe,” a premier residential treatment and transition program designed for men ages 18-26 who are experiencing challenges with becoming self-sufficient and finding their purpose while struggling with mental illness or co-occurring disorders,” according to the WayPointe website.
Nearly a year and a half after the city started using water from the long-polluted Flint River and soon after Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s news conference, the authorities reversed course, acknowledging that the number of children with high lead levels in this struggling, industrial city had jumped, and no one should be drinking unfiltered tap water. Residents had been complaining about the strange smells and colors pouring from their taps ever since the switch.
Areas that were once economically important languish as jobs are clustered in urban centers, creating a feeling of powerlessness as their populations grow older, poorer and less educated.
Multiple adverse events linked to poorer concentration and more aggression, Rutgers researchers find.
Responding to concerns that the conditions in black, lower-income neighborhoods contributed to the problems that sparked the unrest after Mr. Brown’s death, the Ferguson Commission, convened by Gov. Jay Nixon, recently proposed measures to promote more integrated housing, including vigorously enforcing fair housing laws to reduce discriminatory lending practices.
Twice spurned by voters asked to approve building expansions, the Freehold Borough district — separate from neighboring Freehold Township — has reached a tipping point at nearly 500 students over capacity across its three schools. In a move supported by scores of parents who say they can't vote because they're not U.S. citizens, the borough's board of education is asking the state education commissioner to make the rare decision to overrule a local referendum and give the district permission to secure a nearly $33 million bond for expansion.
The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office is combing through more than 150 criminal cases of black suspects arrested by Miami Beach police officers who wrote or received racist emails, the latest in a series of high-profile episodes around the nation that have raised troubling questions about the relations between the police and the communities they serve.
When a measure was introduced recently in the Republican-held General Assembly calling for sharp limits in the revenue that Missouri towns can derive from traffic fines, it was not surprising that black lawmakers voiced support. What was unexpected were their allies in the cause: white, suburban Republicans, a former St. Louis County police chief and leaders from several conservative groups.

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Either New Jersey’s poor have greater access to the resources available in more affluent parts of the state, or the places where New Jersey’s poor live must receive more resources from the areas that have benefited from excluding them.
This legal memo is the first in a series of documents prepared as part of CLiME's Trauma, Schools, and Poverty Project. CLiME researchers identified three federal statutes that may trigger a duty for schools to identify, evaluate, and provide services or accommodations to trauma victims: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (504), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Two years have passed since the President signed a Presidential Memorandum in 2014 establishing the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force (the Task Force), a coordinated Federal effort to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. In response to the President’s call to action, nearly 250 communities in all 50 states have accepted the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge; more than $600 million in private sector and philanthropic grants and in-kind resources and $1 billion in low-interest financing have been committed in alignment with MBK; and new federal policy initiatives, grant programs, and guidance are being implemented to ensure that every child has a clear pathway to success from cradle to college and career.
The poor in some cities — big ones like New York and Los Angeles, and also quite a few smaller ones like Birmingham, Ala. — live nearly as long as their middle-class neighbors or have seen rising life expectancy in the 21st century. But in some other parts of the country, adults with the lowest incomes die on average as young as people in much poorer nations like Rwanda, and their life spans are getting shorter.
Black third graders are half as likely as whites to be included in programs for the gifted, and the deficit is nearly as large for Hispanics, according to work by two Vanderbilt researchers, Jason Grissom and Christopher Redding. But that can change: When one large school district in Florida altered how it screened children, the number of black and Hispanic children identified as gifted doubled.
The rapid growth of the nation’s poor population during the 2000s also coincided with significant shifts in the geography of American poverty. Poverty spread beyond its historic urban and rural locales, rising rapidly in smaller metropolitan areas and making the nation’s suburbs home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country. Yet, even as poverty spread to touch more people and places, it became more concentrated in distressed and disadvantaged areas.
In this post we explore the degree of income inequality seen in New Jersey’s municipalities using the same process as in our previous analysis where we explored the Gini Index and 80/20 Household Income Ratio of US counties.
ABSTRACT: Housing policy can play an important role in improving or impeding the economic well-being of low-income households. Through this paper, we aim to better equip researchers, policymakers, and practitioners for conversations about the links between housing policy and economic mobility. The first half of this paper clarifies common definitions and measurements of inequality and mobility. Adopting the lens of economic mobility for examining how housing policies can address challenges of inequality in society today, the second half of the paper looks at five categories of housing policy levers that affect economic mobility: tax policy, block grants, rental assistance, fair housing, and homeownership programs.
According to the latest United Way of Northern New Jersey ALICE Report, 1.2 million households in New Jersey are unable to afford the state’s high cost of living. That number includes those living in poverty and the population called ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained,Employed. The ALICE study provides county-by-county and town-level data; cost of living calculations for six family size variations; analysis of how many households are living paycheck to paycheck; and the implications for New Jersey’s future economic stability
Since the economic collapse of 2008, American citizens have grown increasingly skeptical of their government’s ability to pass socially and economically beneficial legislation. Over the last three years, lower-level governments have attempted to limit, or usurp, the power of their superior governmental entities by attempting to pass legislation that either modifies the enactments of their federal and state-level counterparts, or, is expressly contrary to it. CLiME has investigated the phenomenon of innovative exercises of government authority, and has developed a hypothesis as to why municipalities, cities and states seem to be legislating on issues typically reserved to higher governmental authority.

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Prof. David Troutt presents an overview of the tenets of metropolitan equity used to understand structural inequality through the framework of opportunity, as part of the workshop series given for the Equity and Opportunity Studies Fellowship, a partnership between CLiME at the Rutgers Law School, and the Graduate School at Rutgers University-Newark.

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