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Kevin Krainz L’13 advances to final round of Fels Public Policy Challenge

January 23, 2013

Penn Law student Kevin D. Krainz L’13 and a team of graduate students from Penn’s Department of Criminology have advanced to the final round of the Fourth Annual Fels Public Policy Challenge.

The Public Policy Challenge is an interdisciplinary student competition sponsored by Penn’s Fels School of Government. Teams of students devise research-based policy proposals and package them into integrated campaigns.

Krainz and his teammates developed a proposal for “Smart Justice,” a kiosk system for low risk probationers and parolees, allowing them to check in with the Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Department more easily, freeing up Probation Officers to spend a greater amount of time with high-risk individuals who are more likely to recidivate.

“The Challenge offered a unique opportunity to partner with students from other schools and advocate for a practical reform,” said Krainz, who is pursuing a joint Master’s degree in public administration. “Our team is working to build partnerships within the criminal justice system and Philadelphia communities, and we hope that our efforts will ultimately produce a more efficient probation system in Philadelphia.” 

Krainz’s teammates are Walter Campbell, Julie Gibson, and Allison Berger, who are pursuing Master’s degrees from Penn’s Department of Criminology.

In addition to Krainz and the Smart Justice team, four other teams have advanced to the competition’s final round on Feb. 24.  They are:

 •Faith in Farmers Winter Initiative: Addressing the problem of Philadelphia’s food deserts and the lack of healthy affordable foods in lower income communities by providing SNAP and WIC–eligible winter farmers’ markets to low-income neighborhoods through community religious institutions.

 •FitPhilly: Proposing a location-based mobile application to promote healthy lifestyles for Philadelphians by providing information about local healthy options and lowering behavioral barriers.

•Penn PUPIL: Proposing an initiative to train and coordinate interdisciplinary health teams of University of Pennsylvania graduate students and placing them in West Philadelphia schools for semester or year-long practicums.

•re:Mind: Creating an appointment reminder service targeting individuals discharged from inpatient mental health hospitalizations in order to decrease preventable re-hospitalizations and other undesirable outcomes that occur when patients miss their follow-up appointments.