Rebuilding Renewal

An Analysis of State Investment in Gateway Cities and a Work Plan for Delivering Transformative Development

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Over the last decade, Massachusetts has fundamentally shifted its understanding of the needs and opportunities of small-to-medium-sized cities anchoring the Commonwealth’s regional economies. The state now places considerable priority on efforts to make these so-called Gateway Cities stronger drivers of growth. But, despite this focus, economic conditions in Gateway Cities remain fundamentally weak. As recent read more
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Data are increasingly the lifeblood of an effective criminal justice system. Modern technology allows agencies to collect and exchange high-quality, actionable information. These data help frontline workers make informed decisions that reduce risk. And they provide managers and policymakers with vital information for the optimal allocation of resources. The fifth installment in our Justice Reinvestment Policy read more
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Solutions to better treat and manage substance abuse are paramount to an effective Justice Reinvestment strategy. Too many residents suffering from substance use disorder continue to enter the criminal justice system, which struggles to help these individuals recover from a life-threatening disease. For many offenders, un- or undertreated substance abuse aggravates anti-social behavior and lengthens read more
Reentry Policy Brief Cover
More than two-thirds of defendants sentenced to state and county prisons in Massachusetts have had prior incarcerations, according to new analysis presented in this policy brief. Comprehensive change is necessary to reduce this elevated level of repeat offending and improve public safety. The third installment in a series exploring various components of reform, this paper read more

Viewing Justice Reinvestment Through a Developmental Lens

New approaches to reducing young adult recidivism in Massachusetts

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Residents ages 18 to 24 are the most likely demographic to find their way into Massachusetts prisons and the quickest to return to them upon release. Innovative models to serve justice-involved young adults have enormous potential to reduce recidivism. These new approaches are also central to increasing public safety in high-crime neighborhoods, where young adults read more

Leading Together

Building Private Nonprofit Economic Development Organizations for Gateway City Growth & Renewal

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Tackling 21st century economic development challenges requires robust private sector engagement. Fostering the growth of nonprofit economic development organizations is a promising strategy to build partnerships with the private sector in Gateway Cities. Through these entities, business leaders work collaboratively to help fashion economic development projects, initiatives, and policy advocacy. While these groups are generally read more

Leading Together

Four Case Studies of Successful Gateway City Initiatives

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Responding to the challenges brought about by industrial change requires strong leadership, but the changes themselves have eroded the leadership capacity of Gateway Cities. Corporate consolidation leaves fewer committed private sector leaders with a long-term vision at the civic table. The rapid pace of economic change creates more residential turnover. Declining household income means residents read more

Leading Together

Developing a Fresh Generation Of Civic Leaders in Worcester

Holyoke case study cover
Research suggests collaborative leadership is a key distinction between comeback cities and those still struggling to tran­sition to the new economy. This raises the fundamental question: how do cities prepare the next generation of civic leaders to work together effectively? Studies show collaborative leadership thrives in cities where citizens trust their government, are engaged in read more

Leading Together

The Holyoke Safe and Successful Youth Initiative Case Study

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The Holyoke SSYI Program is a powerful example of how successful Gateway City initiatives fuse leaders and leadership styles together to overcome stubborn challenges. SSYI is a carefully coordinated effort to reach the community’s most difficult to reach young men—those who are “proven-risk” for violence. Making the most of a new state grant program, Holyoke read more

Leading Together

The Lawrence Community Partnerships Case Study

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In 2012, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education moved to address the chronically low performance of the Lawrence Public Schools by placing the district in receivership. Jeff Riley, the leader appointed to transform the system, immediately set about extending the school day to offer students a wider array of learning opportunities. A central read more

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