LBJ School of Public Affairs Research

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Now showing 1 - 16 of 16
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    How Policymaking Can Address Urgent Child Care Challenges and Opportunities in Texas
    (2024-03) Pedigo, Steven; Gilliam, Lance; Belk, Clara
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    Affordable Housing: Challenges and Opportunities in Texas
    (University of Texas at Austin, 2023-02) Cole, Allan; Greenberg, Sherri; Pedigo, Steven; Pope, Mandy; Mueller, Elizabeth; Way, Heather; Wegmann, Jake; Smith, Kayla; Gilliam, Lance
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    Canary in the Coal Mine: A Profile of Staff COVID Deaths in the Texas Prison System
    (2022-02) Jones, Alexi; Deitch, Michele; Welch, Alycia
    “Canary in the Coal Mine: A Profile of Staff COVID Deaths in the Texas Prison System” reveals the devastating impact of the COVID pandemic on prison workers in Texas. Produced by the Prison and Jail Innovation Lab, a policy resource center at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, the report finds that, as of January 31, 2022, Texas has had more staff deaths (78) from COVID than any other prison system in the country, at a rate more than three times the national average for prison employees. Most of those who died were custodial workers in direct contact with incarcerated people, and the agency lost over 1000 years of staff experience. COVID deaths and infections are also exacerbating an already severe understaffing crisis in the prison agency. Low vaccination rates among staff and rolled-back protective measures are making matters worse. Given the agency’s lack of transparency about COVID deaths of incarcerated people in Texas, these staff deaths and infections provide a window into the impact that COVID is having in Texas prisons. They serve as a proverbial “canary in the coal mine,” warning that the pandemic is still far from over for people who live and work in prisons. The report recommends strategies to mitigate the continued spread of COVID in custodial settings and to help save lives.
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    Financial Valuation of Distributed Solar Resources in Texas using Electrified Transportation Hubs as a Case Study
    (2021) Corcoran, James Sean; Matos, Christopher; Beck, Ariane; Rai, Varun
    This paper introduces a solar calculator adapted from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST) [1] and UT LBJ’s community solar financial model [2] to assess the economic viability of co-located solar and storage projects at electrified (E-) transportation hubs in the Austin, Texas region. This model was developed as part of a multidisciplinary Austin-based pilot study that investigated a novel E-hub concept to integrate heterogeneous E-modes (buses, shared scooters/bikes, private vehicles) that could benefit regional infrastructure and affect socioeconomic growth. While the use-case selected for this paper is very application- and regional- specific, its construction is generalizable enough to adapt to a wider set of distributed-energy generation (DEG) and commercial-scale projects in various markets around Texas and the U.S.
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    Toward a More Welcoming Community: Immigrant Incorporation in San Antonio
    (2021) Wasem, Ruth; Hinojosa, Gina Gabriela; Escajeda, Aaron; Perez, Ana
    San Antonio, Texas, is among leading U.S. cities that work to create a more welcoming environment for immigrants. Referred to as “welcoming communities,” the aim is to ensure that long-time residents and recent immigrants alike participate in creating stronger communities with equal opportunity. The objectives include removing barriers that traditionally prevent immigrants from fully participating in decision-making while being mindful that long-time residents have concerns about changing demographics. We have chosen the term incorporation as most appropriate for our policy research because incorporation is predicated on social cohesion between both immigrant and native-born populations.
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    Advancing Immigrant Incorporation in Austin, TX
    (2021) Wasem, Ruth; Escajeda, Aaron; Perez, Ana; McConnell, Micaela; Uruchima, Tania
    Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and is identified as an emerging gateway for immigrants. The single largest source country for immigrants to Austin continues to be Mexico, but immigrants from Asia are increasing in numbers and relative proportion. Immigrants from Africa doubled over the past decade and make up 4 percent of the foreign-born population. In other words, Austin’s foreign-born residents are increasingly diverse. This report serves to inform the City of Austin as it advances its immigrant incorporation efforts and focuses on five policy areas that the City of Austin can advance: 1) leadership and governance; 2) civic engagement and inclusivity; 3) economic prosperity and job growth; 4) livability; and 5) community resilience.
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    Dead Man Waiting: A brief profile of deaths in Texas prisons among people approved for parole release
    (2021-06) Deitch, Michele; Moreno, Destiny; Welch, Alycia
    A troubling number of people in Texas prisons and jails who have been approved for release on parole are dying in custody before they ever step foot outside prison gates, according to a new report from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. In a first-of-its-kind analysis, “Dead Man Waiting,” shows that while deaths among parole-approved people increased during the COVID period, this population was already dying in large numbers from other chronic health issues while awaiting release. The findings in this report raise serious questions about the state’s parole system and why people who met the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP)’s stringent approval guidelines could end up dead before their release. Researchers offer recommendations for safely releasing this population immediately after parole approval. This report was produced as part of the COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, with support from Arnold Ventures. The COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project is led by Michele Deitch, Project Director, and Alycia Welch, Associate Director.
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    The Pandemic Gender Gap Behind Bars: Meeting the Needs of Women in Custody During COVID-19 and Planning for the Future
    (2021-11) Welch, Alycia; Deitch, Michele
    This report examines the distinct harms that women in custody experience during incarceration and highlights the ways in which correctional agencies’ COVID-19 restrictions have been exacerbating those harms. Even before the pandemic, women were overlooked in correctional facilities that were not designed for them and that are not administered with them in mind. The vast majority of incarcerated women have experienced trauma, have unaddressed behavioral and physical health challenges, are single mothers, and are from low-income communities of color. These factors make them especially vulnerable to the impact of measures implemented by prisons and jails to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, such as suspension of visitation and programming, restrictions on volunteers entering the facility, lockdowns, and the use of medical isolation. Drawing on research about best practices for working with incarcerated women, the report recommends a set of gender-responsive approaches to COVID precautions in corrections facilities that would simultaneously strengthen public health and improve outcomes for women, their families, and communities.
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    Texas Metropolitan Blueprint: A Policy Agenda to Secure the Competitiveness and Prosperity of Texas
    (2021) Clark, Cullum; Fulton, William; Pedigo, Steven; Shelton, Kyle
    Texas is a metropolitan state. It needs a metropolitan policy agenda. Metropolitan regions are home to 9 in 10 Texans, and they are the state’s economic engines. They need a slate of policies that improves the quality of life for all their residents—and at the same time drives their competitiveness. This Texas Metropolitan Blueprint lays out recommendations for policies that address the most important economic development, land use, housing, infrastructure, and transportation challenges of the state’s metropolitan areas. Each is critical to speeding Texas’s economic recovery and securing its long-term prosperity.
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    Renewal: LBJ School 2016-2020
    (2020) Evans, Angela M.
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    Resiliency in the Age of COVID-19: A Policy Toolkit
    (2020-12) Pedigo, Steven W.; Evans, Angela M.; Kettl, Donald F.; Suri, Jeremi; Reeves, D. Cale; Shastry, Vivek; Rai, Varun; Galbraith, James K.; Lind, Michael; Luby, Martin J.; Weaver, Catherine; Rosenberg, Rachel; Canedo, Ana; Fabregas, Raissa; Morris, Megan; Pope, J. Paul; Inboden, William; Greenberg, Sherri R.; Hole, Michael K.; Osborne, Cynthia; Deitch, Michele; Wilburn, Sydney; Studer, Alyssa; Porter, Moira; Springer, David W.; Wasem, Ruth Ellen; Bixler, R. Patrick; Passalacqua, Paola; Buono, Regina M.; Schmandt, Jurgen; Ward, George
    Twenty-nine LBJ School authors have come together to craft interdisciplinary and resilience-based policy solutions in one toolkit called Resiliency in the Age of COVID-19. In 18 articles that span public management, climate change, economic development, national security and more, LBJ School policy authors provide a forward-thinking lens on what went wrong and what leadership, public policies and initiatives it will take to fix the system flaws exposed by the pandemic. Published during the LBJ School’s 50th anniversary year, the toolkit also provides a snapshot of the school’s depth and breadth of policy and research engagement at this moment in time.
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    Locked Out, Looking In: How Correctional Oversight Agencies are Adapting During the COVID Crisis
    (2020) Deitch, Michele; Bucknall, William
    The COVID pandemic is creating significant challenges for independent correctional oversight bodies that typically rely on physical access to prisons and jails in order to assess conditions of confinement and protect the safety of incarcerated people. And yet there has never been a greater need for increased transparency of prisons and jails, since COVID has created such serious risks for people in custody. This report highlights the creative strategies that oversight bodies have been using to gather information about what is happening behind bars, even when their access to prisons and jails is limited or restricted. The report is intended to serve as a resource document for independent correctional oversight bodies and other organizations that want to increase the transparency and accountability of prisons and jails.
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    COVID and Corrections: A Profile of COVID Deaths in Custody in Texas
    (2020-11) Deitch, Michele; Welch, Alycia; Bucknall, William; Moreno, Destiny
    Texas has had more COVID-19 infections and deaths among incarcerated people and staff than any other state in the country, according to a new report from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. The report, titled “COVID and Corrections: A Profile of COVID Deaths in Custody in Texas,” indicates that at least 231 people have died from COVID-19 in Texas prisons and jails, including both incarcerated people and staff. Among noteworthy findings, the report also finds that people in Texas prisons are testing positive for COVID at a rate 490% higher than for the state of Texas as a whole. This report was produced as part of the COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, with support from Arnold Ventures. The COVID, Corrections, and Oversight Project is led by Michele Deitch, Project Director, and Alycia Welch, Associate Director.
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    America's Recovery from the 2020 "Shecession": Building a Female Future of Childcare and Work
    (YWCA, 2020-10) DeFrancesco Soto, Victoria M.
    COVID-19 is a public health and economic crisis, and women are bearing the brunt of the resulting economic devastation. Americans are living through the country’s first “shecession”. Over the last 50 years, women and mothers have become an inextricable part of the American labor force. Social and economic policies, however, have not kept pace with the advancement of women. And women of color are shouldering the heaviest burden of the nation’s systemic failures and inequities. Women in America have endured a decades-long childcare and workforce support crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has simply brought the role of women in the US workforce into stark relief.
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    U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform
    (1997) Hufstedler, Shirley M.; Estrada, Richard; Ezell, Harold; Fuchs, Lawrence H.; Hill, Robert Charles; Hufstedler, Shirley Mount; Leiden, Warren; Merced, Nelson; Morrison, Bruce A.; Teitelbaum, Michael S.
    The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform was created by Congress to assess U.S. immigration policy and make recommendations regarding its implementation and effects. Mandated in the Immigration Act of 1990 to submit an interim report in 1994 and a final report in 1997, the Commission has undertaken public hearings, fact-finding missions, and expert consultations to identify the major immigration-related issues facing the United States today.