The New York Foundation looks to connect its grantees and other nonprofit organizations in New York City with resources useful in achieving our common goals. With our Knowledge Center we collect reports, case studies, policy briefs, and other knowledge assets produced by New York Foundation grantees and affiliated organizations. While some of these works were funded by the Foundation, our goal in providing this collection is to put a spotlight on the contributions that Foundation grantees have made to social issue analysis and problem solving.
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Essential but Unprotected: App-basedFood Couriers in New York City

September 14, 2021

This report contains the findings from a participatory action research project that examined the working and living conditions of delivery workers engaged by digital platforms (also known as apps) to deliver restaurant food orders to consumers in New York City. The research was conducted under a partnership between the worker center Workers' Justice Project and The Worker Institute of Cornell University's ILR School and involved both primary and secondary research, including a survey of500 app-based couriers doing deliveries in NYC, focus groups of workers, and individual interviews.The goal of this report is to raise awareness among stakeholders about the challenges that the tens of thousands of app-based delivery workers confront in NYC, to inform policy and advocacy efforts that would improve labor standards and workplace safety in this industry.

Deflate DOC: New York City Department of Correction by the Numbers

June 30, 2021

This brief report outlines why the Mayor and City Council must act immediately to cut DOC's inflated budget, for the safety of people in their custody, and for the good of our communities.

The Courthouse Trap: How ICE Operations Impacted New York’s Courts in 2018

January 29, 2019

The Immigrant Defense Project closely monitors ICE activity at state courthouses in New York and around the country. Under the Trump administration, we have documented an alarming 1700% increase in ICE arrests and attempted arrests across New York State. The consequent threats to universal access to justice and to public safety are tremendous, as immigrant communities become too afraid to seek justice in criminal, family, and civil courts.

Young Adults’ Experiences of Violence and Dreams of Community-Led Solutions in Red Hook, Brooklyn

January 1, 2019

In the summer of 2017, the Real Rites Researchers - a group of Red Hook young adults - came together after being tired of witnessing violence, feeling ignored and harassed, and being ready to make a change. The Researchers grew up in Red Hook witnessing violence, disinvestment, and over-policing. After taking matters into their own hands, the Researchers launched a participatory study about violence and community-building for young adults in Red Hook. The research was conducted by, with, and for their community. This report details their findings and reveals young peoples' desire to be at the forefront of change in their own community. 

Black Women and Sexual Assault

October 1, 2018

This factsheet published by the National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community gives data on black women and sexual assault in the United States.

Swept Up in the Sweep: The Impact of Gang Allegations on Immigrant New Yorkers

June 27, 2018

Swept up in the Sweep: The Impact of Gang Allegations on Immigrant New Yorkers details the Trump administration's using supposed-gang enforcement to carry out punitive immigration policies. Through an extensive field study, the report shows how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with other federal agencies and law enforcement, uses arbitrary methods to profile immigrant youth of color to allege gang affiliation. The report was written in collaboration with the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic (INRC) at the CUNY School of Law.

Young People’s Vision for Safe, Supportive, and Inclusive Schools

October 1, 2017

This policy brief provides a blueprint for safe and supportive schools. The young people who navigate interpersonal conflict in schools and experience harm due to harsh policing and disciplinary policies, are uniquely situated to lead the dialogue about developing truly safe and just learning environments. This report highlights priorities from the Young People's School Justice Agenda – the vision for safe, supportive, and inclusive schools developed by youth leaders organizing to transform their schools and communities. Supportive approaches to improving school climate are proven to be more effective at helping students address the root causes of conflict and reducing school infractions, thus actually creating safer schools than punitive policies such as suspensions and policing.When young people close their eyes and think about what they need when they are feeling bullied, need to solve conflict, or want their learning environments to be inclusive, they do not imagine metal detectors and police officers. They imagine safe spaces where they can receive support from staff trained in social and emotional development. When schools allow students to lead efforts to transform school culture and climate, they develop fairness committees, expand peer mediation, build restorative justice teams, and create safe spaces where peers who feel isolated or bullied can build strong and trusting relationships. Students are changing the paradigm of discipline and punishment and advocating for schools to respond to the needs of all students, but especially the most vulnerable students, by pulling every student into systems of support and refusing to expand practices that treat them as disposable.

The Prison Paradox: More Incarceration Will Not Make Us Safer

July 20, 2017

Despite its widespread use, research shows that the effect of incarceration as a deterrent to crime is minimal at best, and has been diminishing for several years. Indeed, increased rates of incarceration have no demonstrated effect on violent crime and in some instances may increase crime. There are more effective ways to respond to crime—evidenced by the 19 states that recently reduced both their incarceration and crime rates. This brief summarizes the weak relationship between incarceration and crime reduction, and highlights proven strategies for improving public safety that are more effective and less expensive than incarceration.

Accounting for Violence: How to Increase Safety and Break Our Failed Reliance on Mass Incarceration

February 16, 2017

In the United States, violence and mass incarceration are deeply entwined, though evidence shows that both can decrease at the same time. A new vision is needed to meaningfully address violence and reduce the use of incarceration—and to promote healing among crime survivors and improve public safety. This report describes four principles to guide policies and practices that aim to reduce violence: They should be survivor-centered, based on accountability, safety-driven, and racially equitable.

Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm: Addressing Disparities in our Responses to Violence

December 16, 2014

Attention is increasingly being paid to the disparities young men of color face in our society, including their disproportionate involvement in the criminal justice system as those responsible for crime. Little recognition, however, is given to the fact that young men of color are also disproportionately victims of crime and violence. This issue brief aims to raise awareness of this large but often overlooked group of victims, and help foster efforts -- both local and nationwide -- to provide them with the compassionate support and services they need and deserve.

One Million Police Hours: Making 440,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests in New York City

March 1, 2013

A new report released today documents the astonishing number of hours the New York Police Department has spent arresting and processing hundreds of thousands of people for low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests during Mayor Bloomberg's tenure. The report finds that NYPD used approximately 1,000,000 hours of police officer time to make 440,000 marijuana possession arrests over 11 years. These are hours that police officers might have otherwise have spent investigating and solving serious crimes.The report was prepared by Dr. Harry Levine, Professor of Sociology at Queens College and recognized expert on marijuana possession arrests, at the request of members of the New York City Council and the New York State Legislature.Additionally, the report estimates that the people arrested by NYPD for marijuana possession have spent 5,000,000 hours in police custody over the last decade. The report includes a compendium of quotes from academics, journalists, law enforcement professionals and elected officials attesting to the wastefulness, consequences and racial disparities inherent in these arrests.

How New York City Reduced Mass Incarceration: A Model for Change?

January 30, 2013

In this report, leading criminologists examine the connection between New York City's shift in policing strategies and the dramatic decrease in the City's incarcerated and correctional population.

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