"This presents a problem because donors and recipients should have some genetic similarities," the author, Dr. Omer Awan, explains.
In an email to the entire Arnold Ventures organization last week, Advocacy Manager Destiny Carter summed up the AV ethos well: "As our organization works tirelessly to promote evidence-based policy change across a diverse range of issue areas, we too resist systems that divide and harm us — choosing to elevate new ways of doing that value, protect, support, and serve us all."
Supporting Research into Fair
and Effective Policing
By Thomas Hanna, communications manager
What is happening: The duty of law enforcement is to protect and serve their local community. However, when police are not equipped with evidence-based strategies to guide their efforts or are asked to perform societal roles they are not suited for, tragedies and abuses of power can occur. Arnold Ventures is committed to understanding which policing strategies increase community safety and wellbeing, and which are ineffective and potentially causing communities harm.
Why it matters: The desire for better policing is an issue that connects academics and activists, police union leaders and politicians, Republicans and Democrats. And it is a priority for Arnold Ventures. However, it is a complex issue with many challenges, which is why it requires serious attention and investment.
What is next: Alongside new, more holistic approaches to community safety, policing still plays an important function in U.S. communities. However, it is one that needs to be open to continual critical learning. Going forward, AV will continue to ensure that law enforcement interventions have high standards of evidence-building with the goal of developing an approach to policing that ensures community safety in an effective, just, and equitable manner.
What is happening: This week, the New Press published Parsimony and Other Radical Ideas About Justice, a new book co-edited by Jeremy Travis, executive vice president of criminal justice at Arnold Ventures, and Bruce Western, director of the Justice Lab and Bryce Professor of Sociology and Social Justice at Columbia University. We sat down with Travis to discuss the book and his views on the current justice landscape.
Why it matters:Parsimony and Other Radical Ideas About Justice presents a less-is-more vision of justice, one that acknowledges the racial harms of the past, emphasizes human dignity, and shares power with communities to create lasting public safety. For Travis, the collection reflects much of the work that he has supported over 50 years as a justice researcher and reformer.
New Interactive Tool Explores
Gun Deaths and the Effects
of Policy Change
By Thomas Hanna, communications manager
What is happening: A new interactive website from the RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America, an AV-grantee, provides users the ability to explore how firearm violence impacts different states and state demographics. It also allows users to explore how changes in gun policy might affect firearm deaths in each state.
Why it matters: The website demonstrates that, in most cases, if states were to adopt restrictive gun carrying and gun access laws, firearm deaths would likely decline by between 5-10%. The tool is more relevant than ever as it can be used to evaluate the potential impact of the recent New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen Supreme Court decision, which mandated "shall-issue" concealed-carry laws. If the Bruen decision is implemented without new regulations, gun deaths in states like California and New York can be expected to rise by around 3%.
1. Americans continue to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.
The cost to the household, employer, and taxpayer is steep; nearly 1 in 3 Americans say it is difficult to afford their medicines.
2. The high prices of prescription drugs in America is a systemic issue, and meaningful policy reform is required to truly help American families.
That's why Mark E. Miller, the Executive Vice President of Health Care for Arnold Ventures, sat down with Dr. Josh Sharfstein. The AV grantee and public health champion is an author and a professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Miller and Sharfstein discussed how new federal drug pricing reforms are playing out, and what’s next in this reform space, for the podcast Public Health on Call.
3. Prescription drug prices and therapies must be affordable.
The new federal reforms are an important step forward. "One of the most important things is that it happened at all," Miller said. "The Congress ... felt at least empowered enough to take on pharma in this particular instance, and I think part of that is, because there was very broad public support for doing something about drug prices." Where we can expect to go from here? "Across the pharmaceutical market and its spectrum of issues and players, there are ongoing opportunities for reform, including in the patent space and drug supply chain," Miller said.
Related: Want to help spread the word about the ongoing need to lower prescription drug prices? Share AV’s tweet to amplify this important issue.
The Sentencing Project, an AV-grantee, has released a new report entitled: Counting Down: Paths to a 20-Year Maximum Prison Sentence, which provides evidence supporting the implementation of a 20-year cap for the most serious offenses. In the Verdict, Joseph Margulies, Professor of Government at Cornell University, highlights the report in an article discussing how to balance the reduction of long sentences with the promotion of community safety.
The New York Times reports on how deaths in state and federal prisons across America rose nearly 50 percent during the first year of the pandemic. The article cites research from UCLA Law's Behind Bars Data Project, an AV-grantee, which recently released a new database to monitor prison deaths, as well as AV-grantee Andrea Armstrong, distinguished professor of law at Loyola University, New Orleans.
In a new report supported by AV, the public defense group of the American Bar Association issues a series of recommendations for how New Mexico should reform its treatment of indigent people facing low level charges by minimizing the use of fines and fees. The report is summarized on the ABA website.
The 12.5 million Medicare-Medicaid enrollees have low incomes, frequently high health needs, and make up a disproportionate share of health care spending. Dive deeper with two new issue briefs based on analyses from the Kaiser Family Foundation that explore program enrollment and spending and the demographics of this population.
Between 2010 and 2021, North Carolina's nine largest nonprofit hospital systems paid their top executives more than $1.75 billion, according to a new report. The report drops amid rising health care costs and is the latest turn in the North Carolina treasurer's ongoing battle against the state's hospitals' excessive prices and monopolistic tactics.
The U.S. patent system was originally designed to promote ingenuity and groundbreaking inventions. Yet, somewhere along the way, drug makers began manipulating the process to secure patents for simple tweaks to existing medicines, such as changing the way a drug is delivered or flavored. Big Pharma uses the patent system not to reward invention, but to block competition and extend lucrative monopolies.
Sens. Murphy, Blumenthal, Durbin, Sanders, Smith, Warren, Van Hollen, and Wyden's wrote a letter to the Department of Education on measuring higher education's return on investment, urging it to employ a debt-to-earnings metric that includes former students' wages to determine whether an education program is a worthy investment. The letter also calls out their support for the reinstatement and strengthening of the forthcoming proposed gainful employment rule.
Politico released an analysis identifying where student debt relief applications came from and which neighborhoods stand to benefit most from the debt cancellation program. The analysis broke down the data by Congressional district, income, and race.
At New America, Edward Conroy explains the role of higher education accreditors, and how they do (or don't) handle student complaints.
In the Wall Street Journal, Richard Rubin provides an overview of nominee Danny Werfel's Senate hearing for IRS Commissioner – where he faced questions about his plans to transform the agency.
ProPublica highlights frequently asked questions about the Earned Income Tax Credit, a provision that dramatically reduces poverty but still goes unclaimed by one in five eligible taxpayers.
Lisa Ward highlights a recent study that finds that waiting until age 70 to collect Social Security benefits boosts the typical worker's lifetime discretionary spending by about $182,370, or 10% in the Wall Street Journal.
In The New York Times, Manhattan Institute budget expert Brian Riedl writes about the inherent tension between President Biden's promise to not touch Social Security or Medicare and his promise to not raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 a year.
The New York Times published an overview of the state of Social Security, the poverty implications of inaction, and where each party stands right now on the issue.
Some Final Inspiration
Fresh off her NFL Super Bowl performance and the announcement of her second child, Rhianna will be performing her single, "Lift Me Up" from "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" at the Oscars next month. "Lift Me Up" is nominated for original song, and is Rihanna’s first Oscar nomination. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the 95th Oscars will air live on ABC on March 12.
The Higher Education and Evidence-Based Policy teams have created a request for proposals for rigorous impact evaluations of programs and practices (“interventions”) to promote college success in the United States.
Jennifer Reyes provides strategic support to the Communications team and is responsible for a variety of external and internal projects involving writing, web and newsletter production, social media, and design.
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