New York

Issue Focus

Improving Outcomes for Clients While Helping Systems Further Their Missions

April, 2017

This issue focus describes how MDRC is helping administrators in criminal justice and child support enforcement test innovative reforms to improve the way their systems interact with low-income people, particularly men of color. 


An Alternative to Bail

April, 2017
Cindy Redcross, Melanie Skemer, Dannia Guzman, Insha Rahman, Jessi LaChance

Defendants awaiting trial and unable to post bail are often detained in local jails unnecessarily, disrupting their lives and adding to costs for taxpayers. To address this situation, New York City has launched a program that gives judges the option to release some defendants to community-based supervision. 

Supervised Release ( SR ) offers judges across the five boroughs of New York City an alternative to money bail by providing the option of pretrial release supervision. Eligible defendants include individuals facing certain misdemeanor and nonviolent felony charges who are not at high risk for felony pretrial rearrest based on a locally developed and validated risk...

This study evaluates a new two-year intervention focused on student writing called Drive to Write. The intervention integrates technology coaching into a global history curriculum to create opportunities for focused student writing and revision and increased teacher feedback on writing.

While schools strive to integrate writing skills practice into multiple...


Preliminary Kindergarten Impacts of the Making Pre-K Count and High 5s Programs

February, 2017
Shira Kolnik Mattera, Pamela Morris

Can children’s math skills be strengthened in pre-K and kindergarten, and can such improvements have longer-term effects? This preliminary analysis examines the cumulative effects of two early math programs and demonstrates that this enhanced experience can have modest, positive impacts on children’s math and executive function skills in kindergarten.


The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration

November, 2016
Cindy Redcross, Bret Barden, Dan Bloom, Joseph Broadus, Jennifer Thompson, Sonya Williams, Sam Elkin, Randall Juras, Janae Bonsu, Ada Tso, Barbara Fink, Whitney Engstrom, Johanna Walter, Gary Reynolds, Mary Farrell, Karen Gardiner, Arielle Sherman, Melanie Skemer, Yana Kusayeva, Sara Muller-Ravett

This demonstration is testing seven enhanced transitional jobs programs that offer temporary, subsidized jobs and comprehensive support to people recently released from prison and unemployed parents behind in child support payments.


A Primer for Researchers Working with Education Data

November, 2016

Predictive modeling estimates individuals’ probabilities of future outcomes by building and testing a model using data on similar individuals whose outcomes are already known. The method offers benefits for continuous improvement efforts and efficient allocation of resources. This paper explains MDRC’s framework for using predictive modeling in education.


Results from a Partnership Between New Visions for Public Schools and MDRC

November, 2016

A custom-designed intervention aimed to improve New York City high school students’ attendance by using text messaging to send parents daily absence updates and weekly attendance summaries. The rapid-turnaround randomized evaluation found that the short-term intervention did not improve attendance rates during the second semester of the 2015-2016 school year.