In this essay, MDRC President Virginia Knox describes two recent projects that have benefited from inviting the expertise of front-line staff members and program participants to inform how MDRC designs, implements, and writes about its work.
Findings from the B3 Study of a Cognitive Behavioral Program
This report presents findings from a random assignment evaluation of a program incorporating interactive cognitive-behavioral techniques with job-readiness services for fathers recently involved in the justice system. As implemented in this evaluation, the program did not produce impacts on employment, involvement in the criminal justice system, or parenting.
A Review of the Literature
When a parent is jailed or incarcerated, it has direct consequences for children and families. Family-strengthening programs seek to maintain healthy relationships between such parents and their children. They have the potential to reduce the harmful effects of incarceration on families. This brief describes six recommendations for family-strengthening programs.
An Evaluation of the Returning Citizens Stimulus Program
In April 2020, the Center for Employment Opportunities launched the Returning Citizens Stimulus (RCS), a cash transfer program that offered financial support to people released from prison or jail. The findings in this report suggest that RCS may provide a promising model for smoothing reentry from incarceration.
In this commentary, originally published in District Administration, MDRC’s Michelle Maier and Shira Mattera offer evidenced-backed advice for policymakers and practitioners about how to invest new federal funds to enhance the quality of preschool programs.
A Toolkit for SNAP E&T Programs
This toolkit offers state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) agencies a systematic approach—with accompanying examples and worksheets—for employing human-centered design and behavioral science to address problems that may be limiting engagement and participation in SNAP Employment and Training programs.
How Staff Members Experienced the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) Demonstration
The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief describes the delivery of PJAC services from PJAC case managers’ perspectives.
Here’s What Institutions and State Agencies Need to Know
This brief summarizes the evidence from studies of multifaceted support programs aimed at boosting college graduation rates. It examines what works and the state and institutional factors necessary for successful implementation, and offers advice on how to balance fidelity with local needs while measuring and ensuring positive impacts.
What COVID-19 Adaptations We Will Take with Us, and What We Will Gladly Leave Behind
With the onset of the pandemic, MDRC implementation researchers halted travel to programs and transitioned their work to virtual modes. This blog post offers reflections on adaptations they made that are worth continuing post-pandemic and on the in-person practices they look forward to resuming.
In this commentary, originally published by The Hechinger Report, MDRC’s Alex Mayer and Catherine Brown from The Institute for College Access & Success explain how research shows that investing in comprehensive student support programs can increase college graduation rates.