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Blog Posts

Public Safety Assessment: A risk tool that promotes safety, equity, and justice

Every day, judges across America face defendants who have been arrested and who come before the court for arraignment. After setting a defendant’s court date, which could be months into the future, judges must decide the immediate fate of that defendant. Should that person await trial in jail, or can he or she be safely … Read More

More than a number: the impacts of a higher minimum wage

At the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), we constantly think about how to improve people’s lives through better policy. How can we remedy the inefficiencies and injustice in our social, political, and economic systems? What will it take to create safer communities, better schools, and successful social programs? What policies truly foster an environment … Read More

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

2016 Laura and John Arnold Foundation Annual Report

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation today issued its 2016 Annual Report, “Reforming Systems to Improve Lives.” The report explains that LJAF’s approach to philanthropy is focused on identifying effective, sustainable solutions that address the root causes of a problem. Laura and John Arnold stated that this approach has begun to demonstrate success in several … Read More