158 research outputs found

    Community Engagement Strategies to Advance Justice Reform: Implementation Lessons from Buncombe County, North Carolina, Cook County, Illinois, and New Orleans

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    Communities across the nation are wrestling with how to identify and implement effective reforms that reduce structural inequities in the criminal legal system, promote community safety, and right-size operations of the criminal legal system to achieve more equitable outcomes and increased safety. Research suggests the most inspired and transformative solutions to such intractable problems come from collaborative partnerships between policymakers, criminal legal system leaders, and community members.However, many communities struggle with community engagement because of the strained relationships between the criminal legal system and communities that have historically been criminalized by that system or alienated by civic leaders. Fortunately, some communities have made marked progress. The MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC) initiative to reduce the use of jails prioritized authentic engagement with community members across its grantees to build trust, enhance problem solving, and promote mutual accountability for justice reform.This report, which is part of a series of case studies highlighting the work of the SJC initiative, examines the community engagement strategies developed and implemented by three SJC communities: Buncombe County, North Carolina; Cook County, Illinois; and New Orleans. This report documents how these sites navigated challenges and advanced tangible reform efforts, and it explores the perceived impacts of these strategies on the sites' efforts to engage community members, reduce local jail use, and implement system reforms that advance equity. We conclude with a discussion of common themes in the sites' experiences implementing those strategies and recommendations for other communities seeking to advance community engagement.Sites used a variety of community engagement strategies, such as conducting listening sessions, hiring people with lived experience of the criminal legal system to organize events, and using art to receive community feedback on public safety.Common challenges from the three participating sites include navigating long-standing mistrust between community members and government, recruitment and retention in community engagement workgroups, and shifting strategies because of COVID-19.Recommendations and lessons learned from the three sites include ensuring proper resources are available to support community engagement efforts; communicating expectations and the likely pace of progress with community members; considering the accessibility of meetings; elevating the voices of people of color directly impacted by the criminal legal system; providing benefits to community members who attend meetings; leveraging technology to engage the community; and ensuring a diverse group of people is engaged

    Efforts to Reduce Jail Populations in Philadelphia: Implementation Lessons from the Safety and Justice Challenge

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    Jail incarceration continues to be a main driver of the mass incarceration crisis in the United States and to negatively affect individuals, families, and communities. Racial disparities in local jail populations are significant, particularly to the detriment of Black communities. Involvement in the criminal legal system, even when brief, can have severe consequences, including barriers to sustaining employment and securing stable housing, poor physical and mental health stemming from chronic stress and limited access to adequate health care, and disruptions to family relationships and social support networks.To address these issues, Philadelphia implemented a multipronged reform plan supported by the Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC) to reduce its jail population and associated racial and ethnic disparities. Since 2015, Philadelphia has significantly reduced its jail population through these SJC efforts, which included closing a jail facility, launching a strategy across decision points in the criminal legal system, strengthening collaboration and cross-agency partnerships, launching a formal committee to represent community members' perspectives, and analyzing data to identify racial and ethnic disparities across decision points.This report describes Philadelphia's major SJC strategies, documents how it navigated challenges and advanced tangible reform efforts, and explores the perceived impacts of these strategies on its efforts to engage community members, reduce local jail use, and implement system reforms that advance equity

    Barriers to colonoscopy in UK colorectal cancer screening programmes: Qualitative interviews with ethnic minority groups

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    OBJECTIVE: People from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to attend colonoscopy, following faecal immunochemical test screening, and are more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at an advanced stage as a result. The aim of this research was to explore the barriers and facilitators to attending colonoscopy, perceived by ethnic minority groups living in the United Kingdom. METHODS: Semi-structured online and telephone interviews were conducted with thirty men and women of Black-African(n=5), Black-Caribbean(n=5), South Asian(n=10) and White British(n=10) descent. Participants were eligible for screening, but had not necessarily been invited for colonoscopy. All interviews were conducted in the participant's first language and were assessed using Framework-analysis, in line with a conceptual framework developed from previous interviews with healthcare professionals. RESULTS: Five thematic groups of barriers and facilitators were developed: 'Locus of control', 'Cultural attitudes and beliefs', 'Individual beliefs, knowledge and personal experiences with colonoscopy and cancer', 'Reliance on family and friends' and 'Health concerns'. Differences were observed, between ethnic groups, for: 'Locus of control', 'Cultural attitudes and beliefs' and 'Reliance on family and friends'. Black and South Asian participants frequently described the decision to attend colonoscopy as lying with 'God' (Muslims, specifically), 'the doctor', or 'family' (Locus of control). Black and South Asian participants also reported relying on friends and family for 'language, transport and emotional support' (Reliance on family and friends). Black-African participants, specifically, described cancer as 'socially taboo' (Cultural attitudes and beliefs). CONCLUSIONS: The results highlight several targets for culturally-tailored interventions to make colonoscopy more equitable. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

    A minimal binding footprint on CD1d-glycolipid is a basis for selection of the unique human NKT TCR

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    Although it has been established how CD1 binds a variety of lipid antigens (Ag), data are only now emerging that show how αβ T cell receptors (TCRs) interact with CD1-Ag. Using the structure of the human semiinvariant NKT TCR–CD1d–α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) complex as a guide, we undertook an alanine scanning mutagenesis approach to define the energetic basis of this interaction between the NKT TCR and CD1d. Moreover, we explored how analogues of α-GalCer affected this interaction. The data revealed that an identical energetic footprint underpinned the human and mouse NKT TCR–CD1d–α-GalCer cross-reactivity. Some, but not all, of the contact residues within the Jα18-encoded invariant CDR3α loop and Vβ11-encoded CDR2β loop were critical for recognizing CD1d. The residues within the Vα24-encoded CDR1α and CDR3α loops that contacted the glycolipid Ag played a smaller energetic role compared with the NKT TCR residues that contacted CD1d. Collectively, our data reveal that the region distant to the protruding Ag and directly above the F′ pocket of CD1d was the principal factor in the interaction with the NKT TCR. Accordingly, although the structural footprint at the NKT TCR–CD1d–α-GalCer is small, the energetic footprint is smaller still, and reveals the minimal requirements for CD1d restriction

    Sensitivity Analyses of Exoplanet Occurrence Rates from Kepler and Gaia

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    We infer the number of planets per star as a function of orbital period and planet size using Kepler archival data products with updated stellar properties from the Gaia Data Release 2. Using hierarchical Bayesian modeling and Hamiltonian Monte Carlo, we incorporate planet radius uncertainties into an inhomogeneous Poisson point process model. We demonstrate that this model captures the general features of the outcome of the planet formation and evolution around GK stars and provides an infrastructure to use the Kepler results to constrain analytic planet distribution models. We report an increased mean and variance in the marginal posterior distributions for the number of planets per GK star when including planet radius measurement uncertainties. We estimate the number of planets per GK star between 0.75 and 2.5 R⊕ and with orbital periods of 50–300 days to have a 68% credible interval of 0.49–0.77 and a posterior mean of 0.63. This posterior has a smaller mean and a larger variance than the occurrence rate calculated in this work and in Burke et al. for the same parameter space using the Q1−Q16 (previous Kepler planet candidate and stellar catalog). We attribute the smaller mean to many of the instrumental false positives at longer orbital periods being removed from the DR25 catalog. We find that the accuracy and precision of our hierarchical Bayesian model posterior distributions are less sensitive to the total number of planets in the sample, and more so for the characteristics of the catalog completeness and reliability and the span of the planet parameter space

    A structural basis for selection and cross-species reactivity of the semi-invariant NKT cell receptor in CD1d/glycolipid recognition

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    Little is known regarding the basis for selection of the semi-invariant αβ T cell receptor (TCR) expressed by natural killer T (NKT) cells or how this mediates recognition of CD1d–glycolipid complexes. We have determined the structures of two human NKT TCRs that differ in their CDR3β composition and length. Both TCRs contain a conserved, positively charged pocket at the ligand interface that is lined by residues from the invariant TCR α- and semi-invariant β-chains. The cavity is centrally located and ideally suited to interact with the exposed glycosyl head group of glycolipid antigens. Sequences common to mouse and human invariant NKT TCRs reveal a contiguous conserved “hot spot” that provides a basis for the reactivity of NKT cells across species. Structural and functional data suggest that the CDR3β loop provides a plasticity mechanism that accommodates recognition of a variety of glycolipid antigens presented by CD1d. We propose a model of NKT TCR–CD1d–glycolipid interaction in which the invariant CDR3α loop is predicted to play a major role in determining the inherent bias toward CD1d. The findings define a structural basis for the selection of the semi-invariant αβ TCR and the unique antigen specificity of NKT cells
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