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Inequity in the Permanent Supportive Housing System in Los Angeles: Scale, Scope and Reasons for Black Residents’ Returns to Homelessness

(2021)

In Los Angeles County, Black people represent 9% of the general population yet comprise 40% of the homeless population. In its 2018 groundbreaking report, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Ad Hoc Committee on Black People with Lived Experience of Homelessness concluded that homelessness is a by-product of racism in the United States. The Committee also found racial inequities in outcomes for Black residents of homeless services, particularly Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH).

This report, in partnership with LAHSA and community-based service providers, further examines why there are racial inequities in returns to homelessness or interim housing for Black PSH residents. To estimate the racial inequity in returns to homelessness, we used administrative data from the Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS). To identify potential factors that contribute to Black residents falling out of PSH and returning to homelessness, we conducted interviews and focus groups with PSH program managers, case managers, and Black residents.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants MRP-19-600774 and M21PR3278.

Validation of the PSA in San Francisco

(2021)

The Public Safety Assessment (PSA) is an empirically-based risk assessment tool that is used to inform pretrial release decisions across the country. The tool measures the risk of a person failing to appear at a court hearing, being arrested for new criminal activity while on pretrial release, or being arrested for new violent criminal activity while on pretrial release. San Francisco adopted the PSA in May 2016. In addition to the tool, criminal justice stakeholders in the county, including the courts, Sheriff, and District Attorney, developed a local policy document called the Decision-Making Framework (DMF) which translates the PSA score into a recommendation to the judge. The San Francisco DMF includes overrides to the tool for certain charges that increase the supervision level recommend by the PSA or generate a recommendation not to release.

Under SB 36, (passed in October 2019), California requires all counties to validate their pretrial risk assessments by July 1, 2021 and every three years thereafter. This validation study examines the accuracy and reliability of the PSA in predicting failures to appear, new arrests, and new arrests for violent offenses for persons released pretrial in San Francisco. The study also investigates whether there is any disparate effect or bias in the tool’s scoring based on sex, race, or ethnicity.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants MRP-19-600774 and M21PR3278.

The California Highway Patrol: An Evaluation of Public Contacts in Stop Data

(2021)

In order to better understand the role that race or ethnicity may play in who is stopped by their officers, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) provided the California Policy Lab (CPL) with a data set of 2,141,817 enforcement stops made by the CHP from January to December of 2019. The data was collected pursuant to California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015 (RIPA). In order to extend the statistical analysis presented in the 2021 Annual RIPA Board Report, we evaluated enforcement stops in combination with non-enforcement stops using two generally accepted approaches to measure racially disparate policing: benchmarking and a hit rate analysis.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants MRP-19-600774.

A Rising Tide, Appendix of County-level Stats

(2021)

As described in A Rising Tide, student participation in dual enrollment has been growing steadily over the last four years. Yet, participation varies across racial/ethnic subgroups and special populations of students. This online appendix reports the variation that also exists across California’s 58 counties. For each county, we provide the rate of dual enrollment participation overall in the last four years and depict the differences in participation rates for the four largest racial/ethnic subgroups (Asian, Black, Latinx and White) and for subgroups of socioeconomically disadvantaged students, English learners, students with disabilities, foster youth, and homeless students. In some county-level graphs, student subgroups are omitted due to cell size restrictions for reporting on subgroups with few students.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants MRP-19-600774.

Cover page of Letters of Recommendation at UC Berkeley

Letters of Recommendation at UC Berkeley

(2021)

In the admissions cycle that began in November 2016, UC Berkeley carried out the second year of a pilot experiment with letters of recommendation. Unlike other highly selective universities, Berkeley has never previously asked applicants to submit letters from teachers and guidance counselors. This may limit the information available for use in holistic review, and some at Berkeley think that as the university gets more selective it is getting harder to make informed decisions with the evidence available. Others, however, are concerned that students from disadvantaged backgrounds may not have access to adults who can write strong letters, and that the use of letters will further disadvantage these students.

In the pilot experiment, a subset of applicants was invited to submit letters of recommendation if they wished. Any submitted letters were incorporated into the “second read” evaluations of their applications. I evaluate the impact of this on the outcomes of applicants from four groups underrepresented among successful applicants to Berkeley: students from families with low incomes, students whose parents did not attend college, students from low-scoring high schools, and students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. I use a variety of methods, including a within-subject design that compares application scores when readers had access to letters with scores from a parallel process that suppressed the letters and a regression discontinuity design that exploits sharp distinctions between otherwise similar students in the selection of students to be invited to submit letters.

A Rising Tide: Dual Enrollment is Growing Among California High School Students

(2020)

Research tells us that high school students who take college courses while they are still in high school benefit from the experience in both systems. To capitalize on the benefits of this dual enrollment, California and other states have moved to increase high school students’ access to college courses.

Because California lacks an integrated state data system to connect information from K–12 to higher education, researchers have been hampered in their efforts to understand to what extent the state’s high school students participate in dual enrollment.

UC Davis researchers with the Wheelhouse Center for Community College Research and Leadership have matched high school and community college datasets to provide a clearer picture of college course-taking among California public high school students statewide.

This infographic reveals that college course-taking by high school students in California is more prevalent than previously understood: 18.2% of high school students took a course at a community college at some point during the 2018–19 academic year.

Participation has grown in recent years among all racial and socioeconomic groups of students, but disparities in participation persist. Latinx, Black, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students were underrepresented in community college course-taking compared to their share of overall high school students.

Given the demonstrated benefits of dual enrollment, the equity concerns are significant.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants MRP-19-600774.

A foot in the door growth in participation and equity in dual enrollment in California

(2020)

UAL ENROLLMENT ALLOWS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS to take college courses and earn college credits that can provide a valuable head start toward a college degree. The practice has multiple benefits for students in both systems, improving college preparation and increasing efficiency toward completion of degrees and certificates.1 Many states— including California—have capitalized on these benefits by increasing high school student access to community college courses,2 though not all students have benefited equally. This brief builds on previous Wheelhouse research by providing a closer examination of dual enrollment growth in California. We present data about which students are participating in different types of dual enrollment in the California Community Colleges (CCC)—the primary provider of dual enrollment statewide. Matching the most recently available K–12 and CCC data, we also document how participation differs across high schools and course subjects pursued. There is cause in our findings for optimism, in that one type of dual enrollment—courses taught exclusively to high school students—is growing and appears to be increasing equity in participation. However, dual enrollment opportunities remain scarce or non-existent for many students and largely depend on the high schools they attend.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants M21PR3278.

Preventing Homelessness: Evidence-Based Methods to Screen Adults and Families at Risk of Homelessness in Los Angeles

(2020)

In this study, we evaluate the surveys used to screen adults and families who self-identify as being at risk of homelessness. Specifically, we evaluate screening surveys called Prevention Targeting Tools (PTTs) currently used by homelessness prevention service providers in the City and County of Los Angeles. The PTTs are used to determine whether people are eligible for prevention services. As a result of this research, we are proposing revised tools for single adults, families, and transition aged youth. The proposed tools are available in Appendix B: Revised Family, Adult and Transition-Age Youth PTTs. We also recommend changes to how the tools are administered and a continuous improvement process.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grants MRP-19-600774 and M21PR3278.

Cover page of High Utilizers of Multiple Systems in Sonoma County

High Utilizers of Multiple Systems in Sonoma County

(2020)

Counties across California report that a large bulk of government programs and services are used by a relatively small group of familiar faces who cycle in and out of hospitals, homeless shelters, behavioral health programs, and jails. This report focuses on “high utilizers” in Sonoma County who use government programs and services provided in five domains: physical health, behavioral health, housing, human services, and criminal justice. While high utilizers in Sonoma County represent approximately 1% of the county population, they account for an average of 26% of jail time, 28% of annual costs for behavioral health services, and 52% of nights in housing or shelters provided to the homeless.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grant MRP-19-600774.

Cover page of Racial and Identity Profiling act (RIPA) in the Los Angeles Police Department

Racial and Identity Profiling act (RIPA) in the Los Angeles Police Department

(2020)

The Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) of 2015 was enacted in order to better identify and mitigate race-based and identity-based bias in policing. The law requires California police departments to record data on stops made by police officers, including fields such as perceived identity and demographics, reasoning for stops and searches, and the outcome of each encounter. RIPA does not explicitly distinguish between vehicle or pedestrian stops.

In December of 2019, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) RIPA Board (the Board) requested that Dr. Emily Owens of the California Policy Lab (CPL) conduct an analysis of the RIPA data and provide a report to the Board, in order to better understand any patterns that the data revealed. This report provides a place-based analysis of all stops made by the LAPD from July 2018 – October 2019.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grant MRP-19-600774.