What is the impact on the mental health of a community when employers use arrest records in making employment decisions?

Piloting the Mental Health Impact Assessment

In 2012, Millennia worked as part of a research team convened by the Adler School's Institute for Social Exclusion (ISE) to pilot the first Mental Health Impact Assessment (MHIA). The MHIA is designed to assess how public policies may affect the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities. In this case, the ISE wanted to examine how proposed changes to the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Policy Guidance on the use of arrest records in employer hiring might aid or abet the employability of residents in the Englewood Community of Chicago.

Lynn Todman, Ph.D., the study's principal investigator explains that, "Increased employability can help improve the collective health and well-being of Englewood residents.Specifically, it can increase the likelihood that people suffer less depression and psychological stress, and feel a greater sense of connection with their community." In fact, the study found that tightened EEOC Policy Guidance could go further to prohibit employers from using arrest rather than conviction records in their hiring. This would open more jobs to residents in Englewood increasing income and decreasing crime and exclusion from mainstream society. Environmental, economic and health impacts are often considered in the policy making process, but to date mental health has rarely been assessed nationally.This MHIA paves the way for more careful consideration of mental health factors in policy development.For more information, please contact Lynn Todman, Executive Director Institute for Social Exclusion, Adler School of Professional Psychology or Wendy Siegel at Millennia Consulting

St. Augustine College

St. Augustine College recently reached out to Millennia Consulting's David Steven Rappoport for assistance in the preparation of a federal Department of Education Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant application.

Poor preparation in math and writing contributes to dropping out of college. These skills deficits are particularly challenging for students for whom English is not their first language. The St. Augustine College Academic Success Center Program will improve retention and graduation rates among low-income, minority students who are not primary English speakers by establishing academic success centers to help students improve their skills.

St. Augustine College was founded in 1980 to serve the Latino population of Greater Chicago. Hispanics make up 21.1% of the total Chicago population, the fifth highest percentage among U.S. cities. Chicago Hispanics are younger than the population as a whole, have lower educational attainment and lower median incomes. As the New York Times wrote recently, "the last half-decade has proved far worse for Black and Hispanic families than for White families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between non-Hispanic White Americans and most minority groups." This SIP application will enhance St. Augustine College's existing efforts to help their students succeed.