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RAND Gulf States Policy Institute Newsletter

July 2012

A periodic report on the activities of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute

What's New

RAND Gulf States Welcomes New Director

Gary Cecchine

Gary Cecchine

Gary Cecchine will become the Director of Research for the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute in August. A natural scientist at RAND since 1999, Gary has led and conducted technical and policy research in such areas as science and technology, environment and energy, risk assessment, homeland security, and emergency response. He replaces Sally Sleeper, who stepped down after four years leading RAND Gulf States to return to full-time research.

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Taking Action

Gearing Up for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Rita

To help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters, RAND developed its Resilient Communities podcast series. Recent topics include "Creating Resilient Coastal Communities," "Remaking a School System in the Wake of Natural Disaster," and "Buliding Strong Communities Through Affordable Housing."

Listen and Subscribe Now

Bringing Sustainability to the Louisiana Coast

David Groves

David G. Groves, a RAND policy researcher, discusses RAND's role in the development of Louisiana's coastal master plan for creating a sustainable Louisiana coast.

View the Video RAND's Work on the Coastal Master Plan

Prisoner Reentry and Public Health: Is Your State Ready?

Man leaving prison

At any given time about 6,600 people in New Orleans are on probation or parole and, like other ex-prisoners nationwide, bring to their cash-strapped communities the challenges associated with low income and medical, mental health, and substance abuse problems. However, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is increasing access to health insurance via Medicaid for low-income individuals. What does the new legislation mean for prisoner reentry and public health?

View the Video Read More

Researcher Spotlight

Lois Davis

Lois M. Davis is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her current policy research focuses on the intersection of public safety and public health. She is leading a comprehensive assessment of correctional education in the United States for incarcerated adults and juveniles, and a multiyear study on the public health implications of prisoner reentry in California.

Staff Profile

Examining the Potential Impact of Alabama's Immigration Law

Alabama Courthouse

Alabama's strict anti-illegal-immigration law raises enforcement challenges for police, schools, and other public service organizations. RAND has conducted significant immigration-related research that may be useful to federal and state governments evaluating their own policies.

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RAND in the Region

Advisory Board Works to Connect Researchers, Decisionmakers

The day before the semi-annual meeting of the RAND Gulf States Advisory Board in April, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal met with board chair Leland Speed, member Boysie Bollinger, Gulf States director Sally Sleeper, and RAND president and CEO Michael Rich, to discuss issues of importance to Jindal and the region.

Advisory board members regularly try to connect RAND presenters with regional decisionmakers on the issues of crime, prisoner reentry, and infrastructure investment. RAND Gulf States plans to continue work with regional stakeholders in the areas of education, health, safety and justice, coastal restoration and preparedness, energy policy, and economic and workforce development.

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Recent RAND Research

Is Inclusionary Zoning Inclusionary? A Guide for Practitioners

residential zone

In exchange for zoning variances, some developers make a portion of their residential units affordable to lower-income households. Does access to these neighborhoods, which often have higher-performing schools, benefit lower-income families?

Read the Report

New Toolkit Helps Hospitals Deliver Better Quality Care

doctors conferring

Many U.S. hospitals are focused on improving quality, monitoring, and public reporting of quality information. A team from RAND and the University Health System Consortium developed a toolkit to enhance hospitals' quality improvement efforts using AHRQ indicators.

Read the Research Brief

Incentive Pay for Teacher Teams May Not Improve Student Outcomes

teacher in classroom of students

Analysis of an incentive program that paid teachers bonuses based on their students' growth in achievement in mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies showed no effect on student test scores in any of the subject areas.

Read the Research Brief

About Us

The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute provides objective analysis to federal, state, and local leaders in support of evidence-based policymaking and the well-being of individuals throughout the U.S. Gulf States region.

We invite your suggestions for researchers, projects, centers, and funding or collaboration opportunities to highlight in future issues. Write to us at


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