In the interests of transparency and free public access, all Institute publications are available and digitally archived on the Institute’s website: www.iop.pitt.edu. This ensures easy access not only for policy makers and experts, but for instructors, students, and any member of the general public interested in examining Institute publications and findings. The institute encourages the use of these materials – particularly case studies and status reports – in classrooms and public forums with the hope that they inform and catalyze meaningful discussions about regional developments, past and present.
Reports and Special Projects
The Institute’s annual report offers a comprehensive review of the activities of the Institute, with full coverage of seminars and briefings as well as a director’s note and committee cochair report. Policy and research reports focus on the current status of one issue, including federal studies, state perspectives, and regional data and research. Past policy and research reports have addressed – among other issues - shale gas energy practices and the role of green infrastructure in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
In a recent special project, the Institute released its final report from the Criminal Justice Task Force, entitled “Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Improving Incarceration Policies and Practices in Allegheny County.” Additionally, after a sustained collaboration with U.S. District Attorney, David Hickton, the Institute released its report on the growing opioid crisis, “A Continuum of Care Approach: Western Pennsylvania's Response to the Opioid Epidemic.”
Institute case studies capitalize on the rich resources of local archival collections to provide an in-depth historical analysis of federal, state, and local public policies, relating them to contemporary policy issues. Case studies are intended to be accessible for a public reading audience and suitable for classroom use at the upper-secondary level and beyond. Past case studies have focused on the political work of Elsie Hillman, Morton Coleman, and H. John Heinz III. Topical case studies have addressed issues including the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the development of “Project 88” and its impact on clean air policy, and the logistical challenges of integrating human services across counties in Western Pennsylvania.