Findings from the Pretrial Justice Collaborative

January, 2023
Erin Jacobs Valentine, Sarah Picard

In place of bail, many jurisdictions are instead releasing people awaiting trial with varying levels of supervision in an effort to ensure that they appear in court and avoid new arrests. This brief compares the relative effectiveness of different intensities of pretrial supervision.


Exploring the Experiences of Students Ages 25 and Older

December, 2022
Marjorie Dorimé-Williams, Vivianna Plancarte

The SUCCESS project aims to improve college completion rates for traditionally underserved students at community and broad-access colleges. This brief highlights the experiences of students 25 years or older in four SUCCESS colleges. The findings suggest how programmatic and institutional structures may promote or hamper student success for this population.


How an Additional Quantitative Reasoning Course Could Affect Student Access and Success

November, 2022
Susan Sepanik, Alyssa Ratledge, Andrea Shane, Michelle Dixon, Amanda Martin-Lawrence

This report studies a proposal to add one year of high school quantitative reasoning coursework to California State University’s admissions requirements. It analyzes how the proposal, had it been accepted, could have affected students’ access to and success at the university, particularly for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.


How Community Health Workers Help Navigate Reentry

October, 2022
Ann Bickerton, Sara Ellis, Emmi Obara

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are critical to Los Angeles County’s Reentry Intensive Case Management Services program, which assists clients following incarceration or probation by connecting them to services. This brief describes CHWs’ role, outlines their strategies, and offers insights for incorporating “lived experience” into their approach to helping clients.

September, 2022
Edith Yang, Peter Halpin, Daniel Handy

The New World of Work (NWoW), a program that promoted teaching soft skills—the capabilities and habits that affect communication, social interactions, and problem-solving—operated briefly in over 75 community colleges in California. This brief describes statistical analyses of assessments NWoW used to grant credentials in those soft skills.

August, 2022
Louisa Treskon, Jacqueline Groskaufmanis

The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) project integrates procedural justice (the idea of fairness in processes) into enforcement at six child support agencies. This brief draws on interviews conducted with noncustodial and custodial parents in the study and describes parents’ perspectives on and experiences with the child support program.

Issue Focus
September, 2022
Parker Cellura, Marco Lepe

“Soft skills” are the capabilities and habits that affect communication, social interactions, and problem-solving. Credentials in soft skills aim to show employers that job applicants are proficient in these skills. MDRC interviewed employers to gauge how they perceive these credentials and to learn what could increase their utility and credibility.


Lessons from the New World of Work

August, 2022
Hannah Dalporto, Marco Lepe

Increasingly, companies are favoring skill-based requirements—such as communication and writing—in job postings. In response, postsecondary educators are looking for ways to teach these “soft skills” explicitly. This brief outlines practical considerations and recommendations for developing and implementing soft-skills instruction in a postsecondary setting.