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RSF Bulletin

New Book: After Prison: Navigating Adulthood in the Shadow of the Justice System

The incarceration rate in the U.S. is the highest of any developed nation, with a prison population of about 2.3 million in 2016. Over 700,000 prisoners are released each year, and most face significant educational, economic, and social disadvantages. In After Prison, sociologist David Harding (UC, Berkeley) and criminologist Heather Harris (Public Policy Institute of California) examine young men’s experiences of reentry and reintegration in the era of mass incarceration. They focus on the unique challenges faced by 1,300 black and white youth aged 18 to 25 who were released from Michigan prisons in 2003, investigating the lives of both those who achieved some measure of success after leaving prison and those who struggled with the challenges of creating new lives.

The authors demonstrate that families, social networks, neighborhoods, and labor market, educational, and criminal justice institutions profoundly influence young people’s lives. They find that residential stability is key to a successful transition to adulthood. Harding and Harris advocate helping families, municipalities, and non-profit organizations provide the formerly incarcerated access to long-term supportive housing and public housing. In addition to helping students find employment, educational institutions can promote reentry by providing childcare and paid apprenticeships.

After Prison offers targeted policy interventions to improve these young people’s chances: lifting restrictions on federal financial aid for education, encouraging criminal record sealing and expungement, and reducing incarceration in response to technical parole violations. This book is an important contribution to our understanding of the criminal justice system and disconnected youth.

Read more and purchase a copy of the book.


RSF Welcomes New Visiting Scholars and Researchers for 2020-2021

The foundation is pleased to welcome the class of 2020-2021 visiting scholars. While in residence at RSF in New York City, seven scholars will pursue research and writing projects that reflect RSF’s commitment to strengthening the social sciences and conducting research to “improve social and living conditions in the United States." Among the research topics of this multi-disciplinary group are immigration and immigrant integration, race and diversity, the politics of policy backlash, employers' labor practices, poverty and income inequality, and climate change and natural disaster recovery. Read more about this year’s class of visiting scholars here.

In addition, three visiting researchers will pursue independent research projects while in residence. Their projects—working to transform criminal justice procedures, examining the engagement of older people in social justice activism, and investigating the psychological effects of conflict-of-interest disclosures—will provide fresh insights on important social issues in American life. Read more about this year’s visiting researchers here.


Funding Priorities for RSF’s November 11th Deadline for Letters of Inquiry

For its November 11, 2020, deadline of letters of inquiry, RSF will return to accepting LOI’s under the following core programs and special initiatives: Future of Work; Immigration and Immigrant Integration; Race, Ethnicity and Immigration; Social, Political and Economic Inequality. RSF will continue to accept letters of inquiry relevant to any of RSF’s core programs that address at least one of the following issues:

  1. Research on the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting recession in the U.S. Specifically, research that assesses the social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences of the pandemic, especially its effects on marginalized individuals and groups and on trust in government and other institutions. Our priorities do not include analyses of health outcomes or health behavior.
  2. Research focused on systemic racial inequality and/or the recent mass protests in the U.S. Specifically, research that investigates the prevalence of racial disparities in policing and criminal justice and their social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences; the effects of the current social protest movement and mass mobilization against systemic discrimination; the nature of public attitudes and public policies regarding policing, criminal justice, and social welfare; and the effects of those attitudes in the current political environment.

All LOIs must include detailed information about the proposed data and research design. Successful proposals from this round can start on or after July 1, 2021. If you are unsure about RSF’s expectations, we strongly recommend that investigators review the grant writing guidelines on our website and view an instructional webinar. Those applying for funding from RSF should also consider participating in the next grant writing webinar led by our program staff.

For more information about the application process, please click here.


Upcoming Deadline for Pipeline Grants Competition with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In 2019, RSF launched a Pipeline Grants Competition for early- and mid-career researchers in collaboration with the Economic Mobility and Opportunity program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program seeks to promote diversity in the social sciences defined broadly, including racial and ethnic diversity, gender diversity, disciplinary diversity, institutional diversity, and geographic diversity.

Only researchers who have not previously received a trustee or presidential research grant or fellowship from RSF are eligible. Full eligibility and program guidelines are available here. The proposal deadline is November 4, 2020, for funding starting in Summer 2021.

Read the full Request for Proposals here.


Call for Papers: Early-Career Behavioral Economics Conference

The Seventh Early-Career Behavioral Economics Conference (ECBE) will take place at Princeton University on the 3-4 June 2021. The conference provides a platform for early- or mid-career researchers, including graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and assistant or associate professors, to present and receive feedback on their research. The conference is sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation and will be hosted by the Department of Economics at Princeton University. Roland Benabou (Princeton University) will be the plenary speaker.

Applications are due by December 15, 2020, and selected participants will be notified by the beginning of March. For more information, please visit the conference website: https://sites.google.com/site/ecbeconference, or contact http://ecbe2021@gmail.com.

Click here to apply and submit your papers.

Note: the committee is optimistically planning to hold ECBE 2021 in-person. However, as the date of the conference approaches, they will monitor the current health guidelines. If it is not feasible to hold an in-person workshop, they may hold a virtual version of the conference instead.


Announcing New Open-Access RSF Webinar Series

The foundation is pleased to announce a new webinar series focused on recent research and publications from RSF. Please join us on Thursday, October 15, for our first webinar, a live discussion with political scientists James A. McCann (Purdue University) and Michael Jones-Correa (University of Pennsylvania), authors of the new RSF book, Holding Fast: Resilience and Civic Engagement Among Latino Immigrants.

The authors will discuss their survey of Latino immigrants, conducted both before and after the 2016 election, and how the election of Donald Trump and the surge in anti-immigrant sentiment have affected their political attitudes and civic participation. The topic is particularly timely in light of the 2020 presidential election.

The conversation will be moderated by independent journalist and NPR contributor Alexandra Starr and will feature remarks from immigration scholar Janelle Wong (University of Maryland, College Park).

Date: Thursday, October 15th
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Eastern
Location: Zoom

Click here to register

Attendance is free, but please register in advance to make sure you receive the session link and password prior to the webinar. Registration entitles webinar participants to a 20% discount on the book.


Webinar: How to Apply for Funding at RSF

RSF program staff will host a webinar on how to apply for foundation grants on Wednesday, October 7, at 2 p.m. ET. Please click here to register for the webinar.

For more information on our grant making process, please visit our website to review our grant writing guidelines and view a 5-minute video on how to use our grants management system.


RSF Journal Calls for Articles

RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is seeking article submissions for two new issues. “The Social and Political Impact of COVID-19 in the United States,” edited by Beth Redbird (Northwestern University), Laurel Hardbridge-Yong (Northwestern University), and Rachel Davis-Mersey (University of Texas, Austin), seeks to understand the social and political factors that shape the response to the pandemic, and how the pandemic may alter subsequent political and social dynamics for individuals, groups, communities, and institutions. Proposals due by November 3, 2020. Read the full call for articles here.

The second forthcoming issue, “Suburban Inequality in the United States,” edited by R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy (New York University), Stephen A. Matthews (Penn State University), and Natasha Warikoo (Tufts University), seeks to develop a deeper understanding of how suburban inequality is both distinct from and similar to urban inequality. Proposals due by December 7, 2020. Read the full call for articles here.


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