Recent Publications

COVID-19 Response: Resources for Small and Mid-Size Farms in Mississippi

Emily Broad Leib, Alex Ramsey, and Emma I. Scott of the Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a number of new and difficult challenges for families, small business owners, and food producers across the country. This Issue Brief provides an overview of the resources... PDF Download

COVID‐19 Response: Feeding Mississippi Children During School Closure

Emily Broad Leib, Suzanne Donahue, and Emma Scott of the Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic

Across the country, states have needed to use school closures and remote learning as strategies for reducing the spread of COVID‐19. On April 14, 2020, Mississippi leaders announced that children... PDF Download

The Economic Impact of Potential Closures of Rural Hospitals in Mississippi

M. Maya McDoom, Ph.D., M.P.H., Cyril Chang, Ph.D., John Gnuschke, Ph.D., et al.

Rural hospitals across the nation are facing a crisis due to ever-changing economic, policy, and population factors. To better understand how the present economic climate and policies are impacting... PDF Download

Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment in Juvenile Detention Facilities

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Mental health and substance abuse treatment services are an essential component of a well-functioning rehabilitative juvenile justice system. These services are especially important in juvenile detention... PDF Download

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Publications by date:

November 7th, 2018

The Economic Impact of Potential Closures of Rural Hospitals in Mississippi

M. Maya McDoom, Ph.D., M.P.H., Cyril Chang, Ph.D., John Gnuschke, Ph.D., et al.

Rural hospitals across the nation are facing a crisis due to ever-changing economic, policy, and population factors. To better understand how the present economic climate and policies are impacting rural hospitals in Mississippi, this report provides a comprehensive assessment of the: health and economic characteristics of hospitals and the communities they serve, factors that impact hospital viability, economic impacts of the “most at-risk” hospitals in Mississippi, and potential innovations and policy considerations to address the challenges facing rural Mississippi hospitals.

November 2nd, 2018

Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment in Juvenile Detention Facilities

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Mental health and substance abuse treatment services are an essential component of a well-functioning rehabilitative juvenile justice system. These services are especially important in juvenile detention facilities, which contain a disproportionate number of juveniles suffering from mental illness due to the association between such issues and delinquency and the relative lack of services in the community.

March 1st, 2016

The Business Case for Breastfeeding

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Breastfeeding has the potential to decrease government spending and improve business practices. A 2014 CDC survey of breastfeeding rates nationwide found that Mississippi had the fourth-lowest breastfeeding rate in the country.2 Mississippi ranks lowest in the nation for six month exclusive breastfeeding.

April 1st, 2015

The Impact of Exclusionary School Discipline Policies and an Analysis of Alternative Approaches to Punishment

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

This report evaluates out-of-school suspension (OSS) in the context of the Clarksdale Municipal School District (CMSD) using research based in positive behavioral systems and alternative approaches to exclusionary punishment. Not only does OSS detrimentally impact suspended students hindering their learning and increasing their risk harmful behaviors, but OSS also has harmful collateral effects on the larger student body, the economy, public safety, and society. This report aims to identify particular problems associated with OSS as well as offer solutions, specifically examining Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) through a local school case study, discussing effective teacher training for these types of disciplinary programs, and offering forms of alternative punishments that CMSD could consider implementing. While these strategies were designed specifically with CMSD’s conditions in mind, they can be adapted for other schools working to reduce their OSS rates.

March 1st, 2015

Becoming Baby-Friendly

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

This report is written in collaboration with the Mississippi State Health Department’s Office of Preventative Health in order to assist them in their mission to increase breastfeeding rates in the state of Mississippi. The health department has received a grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in order to increase breastfeeding rates in the state of Mississippi through the use of the Baby-Friendly Hospital model. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is an initiative created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage hospitals to promote and become a supportive environment for breastfeeding.3 The Office of Preventative Health is using the framework created by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) to address Mississippi’s low breastfeeding rates. Through these efforts, they aim to increase not breastfeeding rates in Mississippi as well as works towards creating a more supportive breastfeeding culture within the state.

March 1st, 2014

Mental Health in Mississippi: Analysis and Recommendations

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

Thousands of Mississippians struggle with some type of mental illness, and their experiences illustrate that mental health is more than just a medical issue. Mental health has a profound impact on Mississippi’s economy and overall standard of living; it is deeply connected to education, unemployment rates, crime, drug use, and public assistance. Given the far-­‐reaching impact of mental health, it is important that all stakeholders (e.g., mental health professionals, state legislators, local policymakers, educators, attorneys), have access to detailed information about the current state of Mississippi’s mental health system as well as an in-­‐depth analysis of the system’s most pressing issues.

September 1st, 2013

Mental Health Court Practices

Harvard Law School Mississippi Delta Project

This report aims to assist Hinds County in the development of a mental health court by outlining practices in other courts and the rationales behind them. It pays specific attention to the priorities of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), so as to facilitate the acquisition of a planning grant from this subsidiary of the Department of Justice. It begins with an overview of the goals, background, and efficacy of mental health courts.



The Delta Directions Mission

The Delta Directions Consortium is an interdisciplinary network of individuals, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and foundations that work together to create positive social change in the Mississippi Delta Region by improving public health and promoting economic development. The Consortium is not an independent non-profit organization, but rather an alliance of partners committed to collaborative problem-solving.

Get Involved

Donations to support the work of Delta Directions can be made to the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi or the Center for Population Studies at the University of Mississippi. When making a gift, note that your donation benefits Delta Directions.

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