Review of Sanction Policies and Research Studies. The Implementation of Sanctions

03/10/2003

There is scant literature on the implementation of sanctions. Although there is some evidence to suggest that sanction rates vary from one local office to the next, there has been very little research to assess what might contribute to these differences. Much of what we know about the implementation of sanctions comes from studies done by advocacy groups who are aiming to ensure access to public benefits.

The ideal implementation study would be a multi-state study that examines variation in local communities working under the same sanction policy framework and across states with different types of sanction policies. The information collected and analyzed for the study would include qualitative information from individual and group interviews with line staff and local and state program administrators, observation of key program activities such as orientation and sanction reviews, case record reviews, and reviews of program documents such as sanction notices. This information would be combined with administrative records data on the number of sanctions imposed and the number cured. Analysis of the data would be structured to identify the key dimensions of the implementation of sanctions, how they vary across sites, and how key implementation issues relate to the number of sanctions imposed and cured in a particular locality.

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