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Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice;
There is currently no sentencing commission and there are no sentencing guidelines in Oklahoma. Courts may, in their discretion, consider evidence of aggravating and mitigating factors at the sentencing phase to determine the exact punishment. In the late 1990s, Oklahoma enacted truth in sentencing and a community corrections scheme for certain crimes.
Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center;
This report contains voices and recommendations from campaign and roundtable meetings with Native American community women and young survivors of sexual assault. The goal of the campaigns is to increase public awereness on the issue, encourage women to break the silence, help them move forward and heal while at the same time helping other do the same. The overall purpose of the report is to advocate for stronger policies and resources from tribes and federal agencies.
Environmental Working Group;
As the southern Great Plains get hotter and drier, is federal policy that encourages farmers not to adapt to climate change leading to another Dust Bowl?
That's the troubling question raised by a new EWG report that shows how a provision in the federal crop insurance program provides a strong financial incentive for growers to plant the same crops in the same way, year in and year out, regardless of changing climate conditions. What's worse, this program is focused on the same southern Great Plains counties hit hardest by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history.
The federal crop insurance program guarantees farmers' earnings from their crops won't fall below a percentage of their usual income. The percentage is set based on a multi-year average of a farmer's actual crop yields. Averaging good and bad years grounds the program in reality.
But a provision called the Actual Production History Yield Exclusion – snuck into the 2014 Farm Bill during conference negotiations – allows growers to drop bad years from their average crop yield calculations. The government simply pretends these bad years didn't happen. In some cases, more than 15 bad years can be thrown out when calculating the average yield, resulting in artificially inflated insurance payouts.
It makes sense for crop insurance to give growers a break if they're occasionally hit by one or two bad years, but keeping growers on a treadmill of failed crops and insurance payouts is foolish. Helping farmers adapt to the new weather conditions would be considerably better, and was exactly what helped growers survive the Dust Bowl and return to productivity.
The southern Great Plains are getting hotter and drier. Drought has been common over the last 10 years and forecasts show the number of days above 100 degrees quadrupling by 2050. Implementing conservation practices to adapt to changing climate conditions is vital for growers who want to stay in business.
Some, but not enough, growers are already adopting conservation techniques in this region. Savings from ending the misguided yield exclusion policy could be used to help more growers change the way they farm to face the challenges posed by a changing climate.
Fund for Our Economic Future;
The Fund for Our Economic Future, Deaconess Foundation and The Raymond John Wean Foundation, along with grantee partner Towards Employment, are pleased to release a local impact report on WorkAdvance, a national pilot tested in Northeast Ohio over the last five years that demonstrated an ability to deliver workforce services more effectively for low-income individuals. Employers can be connected to talent they need, while individuals can enjoy better earnings and increased potential for career advancement.
Coordinated locally by Towards Employment and supported by the Fund for Our Economic Future and other national funders, WorkAdvance showed that a comprehensive provision of services, focusing on targeted sectors and emphasizing advancement, could lead to better outcomes for disadvantaged jobseekers and employers. The local report builds off of analysis released by social policy research firm MDRC in August, titled "Encouraging Evidence on a Sector-Focused Advancement Strategy," that includes results for the test sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and New York, in addition to Northeast Ohio.
Results show WorkAdvance is a clear winner. Northeast Ohio program participants accessed more services; were 49 percent more likely to work in a targeted sector (health care or manufacturing) and more likely to be working regular shift, fulltime, or in a permanent job, and in a job with opportunities for career advancement; and averaged a 14 percent increase in earnings after two years.
A key revelation was the important role career coaching plays in an individual's advancement along a career pathway. Those who received WorkAdvance services in Northeast Ohio were 10 times more likely to have advanced if they accessed post-employment coaching. Another key success factor in the local implementation was collaboration across multiple partners in Cuyahoga County and the Mahoning Valley.
"As the research reflects, the impact of this work is significant," said Jennifer Roller, president of The Raymond John Wean Foundation in Warren.
With promising evidence-based results, WorkAdvance demonstrated impressive potential to contribute to long-term workforce solutions that give more individuals the opportunity to advance along a career pathway and into jobs that provide family-sustaining wages, and that connect employers to the talent they need for their businesses to prosper.
"Nothing has been tested and vetted like this model," said Deborah Vesy, president of the Deaconess Foundation.Northeast Ohio practitioners, policymakers, philanthropic funders, and private-sector businesses can leverage WorkAdvance to improve on past workforce development strategies and bring this successful model to scale. While each plays a different role in the system, collectively, the entire community can take actions to drive adoption of WorkAdvance principles. These include:
Spend money better. This requires understanding existing constraints of the funding system and advocating with the local philanthropic community to deliver the model to more people through expanded collaboration to scale it.
Promote core elements of Northeast Ohio WorkAdvance delivery. This includes encouraging collaboration; promoting sector-based strategies through sector partnerships; and mandating a career pathway framework.
Build into policy and practice. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the model, state- and federal-level decision makers must know of its success. This will require advocacy and effort.
"Ultimately, we hope WorkAdvance contributes to improving the lives of individuals in our region, while strengthening the talent pipeline for local businesses to grow and thrive," said Bethia Burke, director of strategy and resource allocation for the Fund for Our Economic Future.
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED);
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
Casey Family Programs;
This report describes a review of cases involving American Indian children in foster care by a subcommittee of the Oklahoma Tribal State Collaboration Workgroup. A "real-time snapshot" of Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) cases in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Region 4 was conducted to evaluate ICWA practices by DHS staff and state courts, involvement by tribal child welfare program staff in ICWA cases, and collaboration between state and tribal child welfare workers.
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs;
This issue brief is part of a national project, Advancing Collective Impact for Improved Health Outcomes, funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to strengthen the capacity of state Title V maternal and child health (MCH) programs and their partners to improve birth outcomes through health reform. AMCHP is working with state Title V MCH programs and their partners in state Medicaid agencies, organizations such as the March of Dimes and community groups to: 1) examine and explore opportunities to improve birth outcomes, particularly improved access to preconception health care, through changes to the health care delivery system, 2) strengthen partnerships between state Title V MCH programs and other key stakeholders such as state Medicaid agencies, providers, community health centers, and local health departments, and 3) identify specific strategies for financing preconception health, particularly for Medicaid-supported births. This issue brief explores how states can capitalize on the opportunities presented by health reform to improve birth outcomes, particularly through preconception health. It highlights state Title V MCH programs, particularly programs in the three states (Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon) that participated in an action learning collaborative and are working to strengthen partnerships to implement preconception health activities, enhance preventive care for women, explore financing options for preconception care services, and use data to inform policy and program development.Delaware and Colorado also are featured as states that are working toward improved access to preconception care. The benefits of preconception health and health care are well documented for improving maternal and infant health outcomes. Many states and communities readily acknowledge the importance of preconception health and health care and are leading efforts to develop new ways of improving access to preconception care, financing of preconception care services, and using data to inform policy and program development. The ACA provides states and communities with new opportunities to develop and improve preconception health and ultimately improve birth outcomes.
Violence Policy Center;
The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities.
This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2012 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2012 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.
It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. While this study utilizes the best and most recent data available, it is limited by the quantity and
degree of detail in the information submitted.
In the seven-state philanthropy southwest region, private and community foundations contributed over $5 billion to charitable causes in 2011, representing an 18% increase over giving from 2009. The membership of Philanthropy Southwest increased their giving in 2011 over 2009 levels by even more -- 31%. In 2011, member foundations gave $1.4 billion, with over 50% of that giving directed toward education, human services, and health care.
American Mental Health Counselors Association;
This comprehensive study shows that 6.7 million uninsured people with a mental illness are currently eligible for coverage under the Medicaid Expansion that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. But the majority of these individuals with mental health conditions will be left out in the coverage cold due to their state's antagonism toward the Medicaid Expansion health insurance initiative.