Research Projects

The Institute is presently engaged in research related to traffic safety (drinking and driving), deliberative polling, campaign finance, public program performance, intergenerational communities as a way to solve public problems, public-private partnerships, school district financing, the efficacy of various training programs, mentally ill jail inmates, and local economic conditions. Other recently completed Institute research projects have examined a program in public high schools to increase post-secondary training; the academic achievement gap between African-American and white students; a program for disabled college students, and radon mitigation. The reports from these projects are generally for a particular funder and are often not publicly released.

If you would like to know more about the Institute’s research and program evaluation capacities, contact David Racine at (217) 206-8417 or at draci2@uis.edu.


MOSAIC

Growing evidence shows that the social and emotional development of children contributes, in a larger way than previously thought, to their ability to learn and succeed in life as adults. Since 2010, the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies, with help from the Center’s Survey Research Office, has been the evaluator of a local initiative, MOSAIC, to improve children’s access to effective behavioral health services. Operated by Memorial Behavioral Health, MOSAIC screens children for social-emotional challenges through their doctors’ offices and schools and then connects children in need with the right services. MOSAIC started small and has been gradually expanding year by year, with the aim of regularly screening all 26,000 Springfield children between birth and the age of 17. The hope, as well, is that increased access to mental health treatment will lead to improvements in child well-being. MOSAIC was started with generous funding from the Illinois Children’s Health Care Foundation.

The Institute’s annual evaluations of MOSAIC can be accessed through the following links:

2017 Annual MOSAIC Evaluation

2016 Annual MOSAIC Evaluation

2015 Annual MOSAIC Evaluation

2014 Annual MOSAIC Evaluation


ILEAD

The free flow of information is critical to a democracy. Today, the means ready access to the changing array of technologies through information can be obtained and used. Libraries, for obvious reasons, are central to this cause.

Between 2010 and 2016, the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies and the Survey Research Office conducted a series of evaluations of a project by the Illinois State Library, called ILEAD, to help librarians learn how to work with the latest in “web” technologies. Funded by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the initial ILEAD training was provided to two annual cohorts in Illinois. When the Institute’s evaluation showed that the training seemed to pay off, IMLS supported the Illinois State Library in replicating the ILEAD model in other states. Those replications also provided to be effective.

Links to the Center’s various evaluations of ILEAD are provided below:

2015 Annual ILEAD Evaluation

2014 Annual ILEAD Evaluation

2013 Annual ILEAD Evaluation

2012 Annual ILEAD Evaluation

2010 Annual ILEAD Evaluation


Identity Politics

Scholars find that negative evaluations of Blacks lead Whites to vote against Black political candidates. However, can an in-group psychological process have the same effect? UIS political psychologist John Transue and his colleagues consider White racial identity to be a strong candidate for such a process. In “Do White In-group Processes Matter? White Racial Identity and Support for Black Political Candidates,” they argue that the mere presence of a Black candidate cues the identity, reducing support for these candidates among Whites. They test this hypothesis on vote choice in seven instances and find support for these notions in all seven elections, using different survey research datasets and multiple measures of White identity. They also find the White identity and racial resentment results to be very similar in terms of their robustness and apparent effect sizes. This indicates in-group and out-group evaluations operate independently of one another.


Archived Reports

Access information about select research projects conducted in the past 10 to 15 years.