Healthy and Safe Riverside County: Investing in What Works

March 16, 2017

  Riverside, CA — In the face of federal-level rollbacks on civil rights and a call to “law and order,” criminal justice advocates and public health researchers are committed to showcasing that community safety and health are achievable goals with the right mix of programs to prioritize accessibility to housing, better health outcomes for all, reducing harm while offering treatment for behaviors that are typically criminalized, and holding people accountable to their actions without excessive punishment. Our newest report, Healthy and Safe Riverside County: Investing in What Works (PDF), tells the story of how investing in evidence-based interventions both inside and outside of the justice system can improve the health and well-being of Riverside County residents while protecting community safety and saving money. This report is part of a HIP collaborative effort with the ACLU of Southern California, Starting Over Inc., and Straight Talk Inc.   Top Recommendations Offer more programs for people at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system outside of the criminal justice system. a. Increase housing options for people returning from jail and prison. b. Increase access to employment services for those re-entering from prison and jail. c. Increase treatment and services for youth and families. d. Increase health… Read More >>

2/28 Webinar on Mobilizing Public Health for Immigrant Rights

February 9, 2017

Join us on Tuesday, February 28 from 10:00 to 11:00 am Pacific Time as we discuss immigrant rights and the connections to health equity.   On this webinar, you’ll learn about: Specifics of how the President’s immigration policy agenda is a threat to public health The personal experiences of people affected by unjust immigration policies Community organizing for immigrant rights in this era Specific examples of what you can do within public health and as a private citizen/resident with public health knowledge   Speakers will include: Sal Cervantes, Regional Organizer for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change       Space is limited, so register today!   This event is the first in a webinar series hosted by Public Health Awakened. Public Health Awakened is a group of public health professionals organizing for health, equity, and justice, formed in response to the Trump administration. We work with social justice movements on strategic and collective action to resist the threats faced by communities of color and low-income communities and to create a world in which everyone can thrive. We are calling on public health nonprofits, government agencies, academics,… Read More >>

The Health Impacts of Charging Youth as Adults

February 2, 2017

Oakland, CA — Even with Proposition 57 passing this past November, it’s clear that the fight is not over. Charging youth as adults is a harmful practice that’s still possible in California, and across the country.  Our new health impact assessment report (PDF) “Juvenile InJustice: Charging Youth as Adults is Ineffective, Biased, and Harmful” is a collaboration with the California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice. It centralizes the experience of incarcerated youth of color, formerly incarcerated individuals, and their families. Our research shows the harmful effects of this practice on youth and their families, and our report provides recommendations for increased community investment and restorative justice-oriented solutions to improve health outcomes for everyone. Key Findings The justice system is biased against youth of color — youth of color are more likely to be tried as adults than White youth, even when being charged with similar crimes. In California in 2015, 88% of juveniles tried as adults were youth of color. The adult court system ignores developmental science and environmental contexts — the context of a young person’s life, especially in low-income communities with a history of disinvestment, is largely ignored by the adult court system. Youth and families are resilient despite the negative impacts they must deal with — exposure to violence,… Read More >>

Welcome to the HIP team, Nashira!

January 31, 2017

  We’re excited to announce that Nashira Baril is our newest Project Director   Nashira is a Boston-based public health leader with 15 years of experience in community-based and organizational approaches to advance racial justice. She’s joining the team at Human Impact Partners to facilitate a national capacity-building program for health equity leaders, a program in which she previously participated. She is leading the design process for Boston’s first freestanding birth center, an effort to offer a wide range of options for individuals and families throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. With experience in strategic planning, workshop design and facilitation, and leadership development, she also freelances with organizations to deepen their equity work. Previously, Nashira spent 12 years at the Boston Public Health Commission, the city’s health department, and was one of the founding directors of the Center for Health Equity and Social Justice. There, she led the CDC-funded REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) initiatives, and helped convene the New England Racial Justice Collaborative, a group of organizational leaders from across the region. She most recently worked part-time at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health providing career support to graduate students. Since 2003, Nashira has… Read More >>

Public Health Can Step Up to Protect Immigrant Rights

January 27, 2017

President Trump is moving quickly towards deporting 2 million undocumented residents and through that damaging communities and the public health. Here are 3 things public health department staff can do TODAY to protect health equity: Read Public Health Actions for Immigrant Rights: A Short Guide to Protecting Undocumented Residents and Their Families for the Benefit of Public Health and All Society (also available in PDF form). The guide describes actions health departments can take now to protect and support undocumented residents and their families amidst political uncertainty and harmful immigration policies being enacted in the US under President Trump. This guide was developed by Public Health Awakened*. Share this guide with your networks. Identify 3 items in the guide that your health department can take action on immediately, and start implementing them. Repeat as needed! A workgroup of Public Health Awakened will update the guide as more information becomes available. Please contact: with feedback, questions, or edits.   * Public Health Awakened is a group of public health professionals organizing a health equity-based response to the Trump administration.

The Health Impacts of Locking People Up without a New Conviction in Wisconsin

December 13, 2016

We at HIP are excited to release our latest report: Excessive Revocations in Wisconsin: The Health Impacts of Locking People Up without a New Conviction, in partnership with WISDOM and EX-Prisoners Organizing. Revocation is the practice of incarcerating people for breaking the rules of a supervision arrangement (like parole, probation, or extended supervision)— it feeds the mass incarceration cycle in the United States and is a significant public health issue. This report focuses on people in Wisconsin who are locked up for breaking rules of supervision, but who have not been convicted of a new crime. The report reviews the revocations process in Wisconsin, describes related consequences to health and the factors that drive it, and recommends changes to supervision practices to support health and well-being. The report’s findings tackle the following themes: Revocation affects employment and housing. The stress and stigma of incarceration and supervision affect health. Kids’ health suffers when a parent is incarcerated. Revocation processes are applied inconsistently in Wisconsin. Incarcerating people for breaking the rules of supervision doesn’t improve public safety. The work in this report was made possible by the generous funding of The W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health… Read More >>

New Planning Tool and Updated Evaluation Guide for Advancing Equity Through HIAs

December 1, 2016

  Equity is a core value of Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Many HIA practitioners engage in this work to address systemic, avoidable, unjust, and unfair differences between population groups in factors important to health. There are many compelling moral, economic, and health arguments for prioritizing and incorporating equity into HIA practice. To support the consideration of equity in HIA practice, the SOPHIA Equity Working Group reviewed and updated the original Equity Metrics for Health Impact Assessment resource. We have organized the framework into four equity-related components: Ensuring the HIA process and products focus on equity. Ensuring the HIA process builds the capacity of communities facing health inequities to engage in future HIAs and in decision-making more generally. Using the HIA process to shift power to the benefit of communities facing inequities. Using the HIA to reduced health inequities and inequities in the social and environmental determinants of health. The following tools can help you plan and evaluate an HIA with these four components in mind from beginning to end.         This resource was developed with funding from the Health Impact Project—a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Charging Youth as Adults via Direct File in California: Research Brief and Infographic

October 27, 2016

  We at Human Impact Partners have been working on a Health Impact Assessment to evaluate the health and equity impacts of youth being charged as adults through direct file. This policy—which allows prosecutors to charge someone as young as 14 as an adult without a judge’s review—is up for reform in Proposition 57 of the California ballot this November. To help inform California voters about this issue, we are excited to release a research brief that highlights our findings on direct file—mainly that it is a biased and harmful policy, especially for youth of color and their families. In collaboration with our partners, we’ve also produced an infographic (see below) on 5 Reasons to End Direct File. We’re also collaborating to produce three short videos highlighting personal experiences with this policy. Thank you to our partners in this work: The California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, Human Rights Watch, Impact Justice, the National Center for Youth Law, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Silicon Valley De-Bug, Urban Peace Movement, United Roots, and Youth Justice Coalition. Stay tuned for the final HIA report to be released in January 2017!    

HIA on Expanding Access to Preschool in Cincinnati

August 8, 2016

HIP and our partners with the AMOS Project are excited to release The Health and Equity Impacts of Expanded Access to Preschool: Cincinnati’s Fork in the Road. The report set out to answer the question: How will expanding access to preschool affect the health and well-being of children, families, and other residents of Cincinnati? Currently nearly half of Cincinnati’s children are starting from a disadvantage on their first day of kindergarten. But our study shows that children who have access to preschool could experience fewer challenges in school, leading to higher graduation rates and decreased crime rates; families could experience decreased parenting stress, child abuse, and neglect; and Cincinnati could benefit from more workers who are able to find employment at higher wages. Our conclusion is that expanding access to preschool would improve the health of Cincinnati’s children and families, making Cincinnati a healthier, wealthier and more equitable city. See here for the Executive Summary, Infographic, Full Report, and Appendices.

Public Health Departments in California and Criminal Justice System Reform: Successes, Barriers, and Recommendations for Action

August 1, 2016

Incarceration and involvement with the criminal justice system are intricately tied to physical and mental health outcomes, and social determinants like access to jobs and housing. Criminalization of health issues such as mental illness, substance use disorder, and homelessness has led to deep health inequities. While creating the conditions for better health is the mission of public health, it is an open question what role public health departments could and should play in reforming the criminal justice system in ways that improve health and decrease inequities. To better understand this, Human Impact Partners had discussions with health departments across California. We heard about successes health departments have had in making change and barriers that they have in getting involved in criminal justice system change. We then developed a set of recommendations for how health departments can get further involved in criminal justice policy reform. While this report focuses on California, it is relevant for public health agencies across the country. See the report here.