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Research team releases first systemic review of state and local monetary sanctions laws

In 2016, University of Washington sociology professor Alexes Harris’ book, “A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor“ (New York: Russell Sage), gained national attention for its examination of the use of monetary sanctions in five counties in Washington state. Monetary sanctions—a term, along with “legal financial obligations,” that refers to the … Read More

Laura Arnold delivers TEDx Pennsylvania Avenue talk on the importance of using rigorous evidence to solve problems

On February 9, Laura Arnold delivered a TEDx Pennsylvania Avenue talk in Washington that called for policymakers and philanthropists to make decisions based on rigorous research rather than anecdote, ideology, or personal experience. Here is an excerpt from Laura’s prepared remarks: We need more discriminating standards for what does and doesn’t work. We should demand … Read More

New Report: Austin’s Public Pension Problems Put Booming City at Risk

Austin, Texas —The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) today released a new report on the pension problems facing the city of Austin. The report, titled “A Boomtown at Risk: Austin’s Mounting Public Pension Debt” shows that the city has accrued nearly $1.8 billion in pension debt. As a result, pension payments have increased by … Read More

New Report: Dallas Pension Crisis a Warning for Cities Across Texas

DALLAS, TX —The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) today published a new report about the urgent problems facing the public pension system in Dallas. The report, “The Dallas Public Pension Crisis: A Warning for Cities Across Texas,” shows that the city’s pension debt has doubled since 2014. It now totals at least $4 billion, … Read More

Policy Labs: Research Partnerships for More Effective Government

State and local governments across the country are working to make meaningful improvements in people’s lives by addressing pressing challenges such as homelessness, recidivism, failing schools, and poverty. There are a number of programs designed to target these issues. However, many of these well-intentioned efforts have failed to produce adequate improvements. In an effort to … Read More