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Juvenile Violent Victimization, 1995-2018

Procedural Justice Principles in the Midst of a Major Disruption: What Several Months of COVID-19 Revealed in the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt Demonstration

Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture 3rd Edition


Broadband Access and the Digital Divides

The Effects of Expanding Pell Grant Eligibility for Short Occupational Training Programs: Results from the Experimental Sites Initiative

A Broken Pipeline: Teacher Preparation’s Diversity Problem


Drinking Water: Environmental Protection Agency Could Use Available Data to Better Identify Neighborhoods at Risk of Lead Exposure

Automated Technologies: Department of Transportation Should Take Steps to Ensure Its Workforce Has Skills Needed to Oversee Safety

Increasing Rental Counseling Capacity and Awareness as a Prescription for COVID-19


The Federal Effort to Desegregate Southern Hospitals and the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap

Inclusion of Pregnant Women in COVID-19 Treatment Trials: A Review and Global Call to Action

Effect of a Culturally Adapted Behavioral Intervention for Latino Adults on Weight Loss Over 2 Years: A Randomized Clinical Trial

December 31, 2020


This bulletin examines findings from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-funded analysis of data on both juvenile victims and victimization. Findings presented in this bulletin show that overall the rate of violent victimization for juveniles has declined since 1995 but did not change from 2015 to 2018. The percentage of violent victimizations for juveniles (ages 12–17) reported to the police has remained steady at about 25% since 2013. In 2018, for juveniles ages 12 to 17, non-Hispanic whites had a higher violent victimization rate than Hispanics. The rate for non-Hispanic blacks did not differ from the rates of these two racial groups. Juveniles ages 12 to 17 were most likely to be victimized by someone they knew (54%), and were less likely than young adults (ages 18 to 29) and adults (age 30 or older) to be victimized by a stranger. Homicides against non-Hispanic black juveniles increased from 2015 to 2017. Additionally, compared to all other racial groups, non-Hispanic black juveniles had the highest homicide rates in 2017.

Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) demonstration project integrates principles of procedural justice into enforcement practices in six child support agencies across the United States. Procedural justice is fairness in processes that resolve disputes and result in decisions. Research has shown that if people perceive a process to be fair, they will be more likely to comply with the outcome of that process, whether or not the outcome was favorable to them. Child support agencies aim to secure payments from noncustodial parents to support the well-being of their children. The target population for the PJAC demonstration project is non-custodial parents who are at the point of being referred to the legal system for civil contempt of court because they have not met their child support obligations, yet have been determined to have the ability to pay. The PJAC demonstration project aims to address parents’ reasons for non-payment, improve the consistency of their payments, and promote their positive engagement with the child support program and the custodial parent. This report is the fifth in a series developed primarily for child support practitioners and administrators that shares lessons learned as the six participating child support agencies implement the PJAC model. It describes the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on PJAC project sites and on parents served by the PJAC project during the spring and summer of 2020, and it examines the sites’ initial responses to the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to social service agencies, and compounded the difficulties that parents faced in understanding the complex child support and court processes. On the whole, the procedural justice principles and approaches used in the PJAC project appear to be well suited to addressing or at least lessening some of the difficulties posed by the pandemic. Case managers have been able to stay in contact with many parents they serve, and the existing relationships between case managers and parents have resulted in parents being comfortable enough to reach out for help. While the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for customers, especially in relation to court cases, office closures, and procedural changes, PJAC staff members have worked with parents to address many child support– related issues remotely. Staff experiences from the PJAC project suggest that applying procedural justice principles to case management can help human services agencies and their customers weather unexpected events. The PJAC experience may offer lessons for service delivery and best practices in child support — and in social services agencies more broadly — even after the pandemic ends.

Source: MDRC

Most states and the federal government have laws allowing police and prosecutors to seize and permanently keep Americans’ cash, cars, homes and other property suspected of being involved in a crime—without regard to the owners’ guilt or innocence. This is civil forfeiture, and it is practiced nationwide, with local, state and federal agencies using it to collectively forfeit billions of dollars each year. Many of these billions go directly to law enforcement, including the same police and prosecutors who seize and forfeit property. This third edition of Policing for Profit presents the largest collection of state and federal forfeiture data yet assembled and provides updated grades of state and federal civil forfeiture laws. Key findings include that in 2018 alone, 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. departments of Justice and the Treasury forfeited over $3 billion and that among the states with 2018 data, Florida, Texas, Illinois, California and New York took in the most forfeiture revenue. But once state populations are factored in, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Rhode Island and Nebraska used forfeiture most extensively.

Source: Institute for Justice


Education in the 21st century increasingly relies on strong, reliable access to the internet at school and at home. However, millions of students throughout the United States are unable to connect to the internet outside of school to complete coursework and actively participate in a modern education. This issue exists throughout educational settings, including K-12 schools and higher education institutions; and the lack of access disproportionately affects Native American, Black and Hispanic students; students in families with low incomes; and students in rural areas. When schools move into remote learning environments — in response to a pandemic, natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstance — the importance of internet access and the disproportionate impacts of a lack of access are exacerbated and thrust into the spotlight. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of 2018 survey data, 17% of teenagers, ages 13-17, say they are “often or sometimes unable to complete homework assignments because they do not have reliable access to a computer or internet connection.” One study from the Quello Center at Michigan State University used student data to explore the impact a lack of access can have on education beyond the homework gap. This study found that, in addition to completing homework at lower rates, students who lacked internet access had lower GPAs, lower PSAT and SAT scores and less interest in attaining a higher education degree. This report introduces three unique digital divides that may prompt different policy solutions: 1) divides caused by an absence of availability of local broadband infrastructure, 2) the lack of affordability of an adequate internet subscription, and 3) unequal access to devices that can adequately connect to the internet. It also includes examples of state and local policies that address these divides.

Source: Education Commission of the States

This report presents findings from a study of two experimental expansions to Pell Grant eligibility piloted between 2012 and 2017 to help in the recovery from the Great Recession. In both experiments, students had to meet the Pell Grant income criteria, to be un- or underemployed, and intend to enroll in a short occupational program leading to a certificate or credential aligned with local or regional workforce needs. Certain Pell Grant rules were waived for the 46 schools that volunteered and were approved to participate, mostly public two-year colleges. The study examined whether these pilots increased enrollment in and completion of postsecondary programs for the 2,700 students the schools identified as eligible for the experiments. The students were randomly assigned either to be offered or not offered experimental Pell Grant funds in their financial aid award packages, and their outcomes were compared 10 to 30 months later to determine the effectiveness of the experiments. Key findings include: 1) Offering Pell Grants for short occupational programs to low-income students with a bachelor’s degree increased program enrollment and completion by about 20 percentage points. Under normal Pell Grant rules, student who already have such a degree are not eligible for these grants. To use the experimental Pell Grants, students had to enroll in a short-term occupational training programs lasting up to one year, or two years if pursued part-time; and 2) Offering Pell Grants for very short-term occupational training programs increased program enrollment and completion by about 10 percentage points. Normally, programs have to have a minimum of 600 hours of instruction over 15 weeks. But under this experiment, students could obtain and use Pell Grants for programs lasting as little as 8 weeks. Strategies to help displaced workers and low-income adults earn credentials with the potential to improve their job prospects quickly may be of particular interest now, given the changing economic conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The labor market returns from the two experiments and how these compare to the cost of expanding Pell Grant eligibility—on average about $1,800 per student in this study—remain important open questions for the future.

Source: Mathematica

The United States needs more teachers of color. A growing body of research shows that all students benefit from having teachers of color, in the form of greater engagement, higher achievement, and cross-cultural interactions that can work against harmful stereotypes. For students of color, the benefits are even more significant. Using publicly available data, the authors compared the percentage of enrollees of color in teacher preparation programs to the percentage of students of color in the public K-12 system for each state. They then used that to calculate the size of each state’s teacher prep diversity gap, allowing us to see the scope of the problem at the state level and identify national and regional trends. For example, in Florida 38% of public school students are white and 54.6% of enrollees in teacher prep programs are white. The authors also highlight individual teacher preparation programs that are—and are not—recruiting teacher candidates of color. Finally, they provide a series of recommendations for programs, districts, and state governments.

Source: The New Teacher Project

Government Operations

Lead in drinking water comes primarily from corrosion of service lines connecting the water main to a house or building, pipes inside a building, or plumbing fixtures. As the authors reported in September 2018, the total number of lead service lines in drinking water systems is unknown, and less than 20 of the 100 largest water systems have such data publicly available. The authors were asked to examine the actions the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and water systems are taking to educate the public on the risks of lead in drinking water. This report examines, among other things: (1) the extent to which neighborhood data on cities served by lead service lines can be used to focus lead reduction efforts; and (2) actions EPA has taken to address Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act requirements, and EPA’s risk communication documents. The authors conducted a statistical analysis combining geospatial lead service line and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data to identify characteristics of selected communities; reviewed legal requirements and EPA documents; and interviewed EPA officials.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Automated technologies in planes, trains, and passenger vehicles can perform tasks without the need for human operators—like crash avoidance systems that automatically slow cars down to avoid a collision. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) needs a workforce with skills related to these technologies in order to ensure the technologies are safe to use. The DOT’s Departmental Office of Human Resources Management has identified most skills DOT needs to oversee automated technologies, but it has not fully assessed whether its workforce has these skills. Through its workforce planning efforts, DOT identified many of the skills cited by stakeholders as important for overseeing automated technologies—regulatory expertise, engineering, and data analysis. In 2016 and 2020, DOT surveyed staff in related positions and identified gaps in some of these skills, including regulatory expertise. However, DOT did not survey staff or assess skill gaps in data analysis or cybersecurity positions important to automated technology oversight. As a result, DOT lacks critical information needed to identify skill gaps and ensure key relevant staff are equipped to oversee the safety of these technologies now and in the future.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

A potential eviction crisis threatens America’s 43.8 million renter households, who were hit harder by the pandemic but received less housing relief than homeowners. This brief examines the evolving state of renters’ housing and financial security, the landscape of rental housing counseling, and the potential for counseling to help renters maintain housing through the pandemic. Based on lessons learned from the Great Recession, the authors posit that -- with enough resources -- housing counseling agencies could help renters access local emergency funds, navigate complex eviction moratoriums, negotiate with landlords, and budget their dwindling resources. More rental counseling capacity could provide families with tools to avoid eviction, regain housing stability, and stay on the path toward homeownership.

Source: Urban Institute

Health and Human Services

In 1966, southern hospitals were barred from participating in the Medicare program unless they discontinued their long-standing practice of racial segregation. Using data from five Deep South states and exploiting county-level variation in Medicare certification dates, the authors find that gaining access to an ostensibly integrated hospital had no effect on the Black-White infant mortality gap, although it may have discouraged small numbers of Black mothers from giving birth at home attended by a midwife. These results are consistent with descriptions of the federal hospital desegregation campaign as producing only cosmetic changes and illustrate the limits of anti-discrimination policies imposed upon reluctant actors.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Inclusion of pregnant women in COVID-19 clinical trials would allow evaluation of effective therapies that might improve maternal health, pregnancy, and birth outcomes, and avoid the delay of developing treatment recommendations for pregnant women. The authors explored the inclusion of pregnant women in treatment trials of COVID-19 by reviewing ten international clinical trial registries at two time points in 2020. They identified 155 COVID-19 treatment studies of non-biological drugs for the April 7–10, 2020 time point, of which 124 (80%) specifically excluded pregnant women. The same registry search for the July 10–15, 2020 time point, yielded 722 treatment studies, of which 538 (75%) specifically excluded pregnant women. The authors then focused on studies that included at least one of six drugs (remdesivir, lopinavir–ritonavir, interferon beta, corticosteroids, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin) under evaluation for COVID-19. Of 176 such studies, 130 (74%) listed pregnancy as an exclusion criterion. Of 35 studies that evaluated high-dose vitamin treatment for COVID-19, 27 (77%) excluded pregnant women. Despite the surge in treatment studies for COVID-19, the proportion excluding pregnant women remains consistent. Exclusion was not well justified as many of the treatments being evaluated have no or low safety concerns during pregnancy. Inclusion of pregnant women in clinical treatment trials is urgently needed to identify effective COVID-19 treatment for this population.

Source: The Lancet

Identifying effective weight loss interventions for Latino adults at risk of diabetes is of critical public health importance. The purpose of this study is to determine whether a culturally adapted behavioral intervention for Latino adults was more effective than usual care for weight loss over 24 months. In this randomized clinical trial of 191 Latino patients in primary care, a culturally adapted behavioral lifestyle intervention using technology, including web-based self-monitoring and a wearable activity monitor, was more effective for weight loss over 12 months but not 24 months. These findings suggest that the culturally adapted behavioral intervention using technology was not effective for long-term weight loss over 24 months, so research to optimize intervention effectiveness over 24 months is needed.

Source: JAMA Network Open

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