Sen. Casey pushes to end ‘boyfriend loophole’ in domestic abuse bill over NRA objections

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania wants Congress to reauthorize a lapsed law that helps victims of domestic abuse over objections from the National Rifle Association that an added provision could deprive the rights of gun owners.

The added measure closes the “boyfriend loophole” by preventing those convicted of abusing or stalking a current or former dating partner from buying or owning a gun.

Women are more than twice as likely to be shot and killed by a male partner than injured by a stranger, according to Susan Sorenson, a University of Pennsylvania professor whose research focuses on firearms and violence against women.

Sorenson, who was among the panelists who spoke with Casey, said ending the loophole for dating partners is a crucial step toward protecting women, who also die from gun violence at rates higher than other developed countries.

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KYW Newsradio

Victims of domestic abuse urge Senate to renew VAWA with new previsions

Local domestic violence survivors and advocates gathered on the University of Pennsylvania campus to highlight the importance of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Currently, VAWA is in the U.S. Senate, where it faces opposition among National Rifle Association supported politicians. The measure did pass the House.

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School of Social Policy & Practice 2019 Teaching Awards

The 2019 SP2 Teaching Awards recognized several exceptional educators and students recently, including SP2 standing faculty member, Roberta Iversen, and SP2 part-time faculty member, Jane Abrams.

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Los Angeles Times

What would a universal basic income mean for America? Stockton thinks it has the answer

For the next several months, 130 residents of Stockton, CA will get $500 every month, with no strings — such as employment or sobriety requirements — attached as part of a universal basic income (UBI) experiment.

Researchers with the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) will track and analyze how UBI affects these individuals’ spending habits as well as factors like quality of life and financial stability.

“We have a real opportunity to rethink how we talk about the safety net, what it means to get by, and we want to take advantage of that,” said Amy Castro Baker, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, and one of the principal researchers. “I would argue that research is always informed by something that you would like to see happen or not happen in the world, and we are owning that.”

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NBC News

Critics say Yang’s cash giveaway means people won’t work. Alaska says otherwise.

Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang is making a name for himself on the campaign trail with a radical plan to provide all Americans over the age of 18 with $12,000 of income annually from government funds. He often points to one state that has had a similar system in place for decades — Alaska.

Ioana Marinescu, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, and Damon Jones, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, studied the effects of the fund on the Alaskan labor market by comparing trends in the state with similar states like Wyoming and Utah.

We were like, ‘Oh wow, this is interesting,'” Marinescu told NBC News. “Not necessarily what we expected because economic theory tells us that when people get money, that should reduce their desire to work. We find that what likely happened here is that receiving all this cash meant that people were spending more at local businesses, and that’s stimulating employment.”


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NBC News

House votes to reauthorize VAWA in a rejection of the NRA’s claim that guns keep women safe

Susan B. Sorenson of the School of Social Policy & Practice writes, in an op-ed for NBC News, about the need to debunk misperceptions about intimate-partner violence and firearms. “This is one of those instances,” she says, “when the stakes can literally be life or death.”

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Modern Ghana

Cocoa360 Is Doing Business In Africa For A Great Purpose

Shadrack Frimpong “was blessed to win the Amy Gutmann President’s Engagement Prize (PEP), a prestigious award of higher education in the United States,” according to an opinion piece in Modern Ghana. Frimpong, now an NPL student in the School of Social Policy & Practice, is using the prize money to fund Cocoa360, which has opened a school for girls and a rural medical clinic in Ghana. The facilities are self-sustaining thanks to profits from Cocoa360’s community farms.

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Penn Today

Can closing homeless encampments help Philadelphia’s opioid problem?

Can closing homeless encampments help Philadelphia’s opioid problem? A report authored by Dennis Culhane and doctoral student Fritz Graham of the School of Social Policy & Practice and David Metzger of the Perelman School of Medicine shows that shuttering two camps led to many new addiction-treatment slots and some successful placements in permanent or temporary housing. Many challenges remain, however, including a shortage of housing options.

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Penn Today

Negotiating a truce in the war on drugs

On March 13, the student-run University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law & Public Affairs brought experts from the legal realm, activists, social workers, and members of the community together at Penn Law for a daylong symposium, “Addicted to the War on Drugs.”

The conversations focused on a tough question: How to steer the ship in a different direction and get different results?

Jennifer Prah Ruger, the Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics, and Policy at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, said policies need to be evidence-based and focused on empowering people to make healthy choices and flourish, starting from early childhood. That means improving educational, health care, and work opportunities, as well as bolstering family and neighborhood networks.

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SP2 News

Faculty & Research, Global Engagement

International Experts Assemble to Examine, Investigate Public Health and Epidemics

On May 13 and 14, Jennifer Prah Ruger, PhD, and other international scholars and public health experts will assemble in...

Students from the MSSP 797 course in Havana, with instructor Azahara Palomeque

Student Life, Global Engagement

Social Issues Through a Global Lens: SP2 Students Reflect on Their Immersion Experience in Cuba

For students in the Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), having both a...

Faculty & Research

National Survey Examines Emergency Department Management of Deliberate Self-Harm

How routinely do emergency room staff members properly provide help to individuals who present for self-harm? Do they appropriately assess...

SP2 Student Emily Berkowitz presents at the APPAM Student Conference

Student Life

Students Present Policy Research on Housing, Immigration, Harassment

Four students from the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) shared their research across a wide range of...

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