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Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2018

The Impact of New York Bail Reform on Statewide Jail Populations

Prison-Release Discretion and Prison Population Size State Report: Maryland


Baccalaureate and Beyond: First Look at the 2018 Employment and Educational Experiences of 2007–08 College Graduates

Racial Disparities in Elementary School Disciplinary Actions: Findings From the ABCD Study

Rural Higher Education: Realities & Opportunities

The Quality Start Los Angeles Developmental Evaluation: Research Findings and Lessons Learned


Review of the Florida Lottery, 2020

Florida Hit-And-Run Crash Fatalities

Revenue Collapses and the Consumption of Small Business Owners in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic


Veterans Community Care Program: Immediate Actions Needed to Ensure Health Providers Associated with Poor Quality Care Are Excluded

The Behavioral Health of Minority Active Duty Service Members

Identifying Pathways for Upward Mobility

Closing Gaps in Maternal Health Coverage

February 12, 2021


Across the United States, judicial waiver laws authorize or require juvenile court judges to remove certain youth from juvenile court jurisdiction to be tried in criminal court. This fact sheet is based on the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention -sponsored report, Juvenile Court Statistics 2018, and was developed with support from National Institute of Justice. It presents national estimates of cases waived by juvenile court judges to be handled by criminal courts from 1985 through 2018. In 2018, juvenile courts in the United States handled 744,500 delinquency cases. In more than half (57%) of these cases, petitions were filed requesting an adjudication or waiver hearing. Of the petitioned cases, approximately 1% were waived. Juvenile courts waived an estimated 3,600 delinquency cases to criminal court in 2018. Between 1993 and 2018, petitioned person offense cases were more likely to be judicially waived than petitioned cases involving other offenses.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

New York’s recent bail reform law, which was passed in April 2019 and amended in July 2020, was expected to reduce the footprint of jail incarceration by limiting the use of money bail. The new law mandated pretrial release for the vast majority of non-violent charges and required that judges consider a person’s ability to pay bail. A comprehensive impact evaluation is necessary to understand the successes and limitations of these reforms, as well as their unintended consequences. This report—the first of a six-part series—explores the early impact of bail reform on jail populations by examining statewide incarceration trends between January 2018 and June 2020. The report also explores early impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on jail admissions and populations. The report finds that bail reform led to a substantial reduction in jail incarceration, driven mainly by a decline in pre-trial admissions for low-level and nonviolent charges. However, despite the overall decreased incarceration rate, existing racial disparities may have been aggravated both in New York City and statewide jails.

Source: Vera Institute of Justice

This report series provides an overview of states approaches prison-release discretion and the relationship between rules for prison release and prison population size, including an assessment of each state’s degree of indeterminacy. States that have a low degree of indeterminacy provide a short window from first release eligibility to the maximum prison term, thus making the total prison stay length more predictable. In contrast, states with a high degree of indeterminacy have long windows spanning years, or even decades depending on the individual sentence. Overall, the authors rank the Maryland prison-sentencing system as one of moderate indeterminacy. Eligibility for discretionary parole release occurs at the 25% mark of the judicial maximum term for most non-violent offenders, and at the 50% mark for most violent offenders. For a small subgroup of nonviolent prisoners, Maryland has an administrative release mechanism that allows for release at first parole-release eligibility without a hearing. Maryland’s department of corrections administers diminution credits that may be deducted from judicial maximum terms to produce earlier dates of mandatory release. Total deductions may be as much as 50% of the statutory maximum term for prisoners convicted of nonviolent offenses and 40% for prisoners convicted of non-violent offenses. Compared with most other states, these are generous allowances. Mandatory release dates are movable milestones in most Maryland prison sentences, and have the capacity to cut off a large percentage of judicial maximum terms. At the back-end of Maryland’s prison-sentencing system, the department of corrections exerts definitive control over a larger segment of the prison-sentence timeline than the parole board, although both are important decision makers. The department’s ability to wield its full releasing power depends to a great extent on program availability, however, because awards of diminution credits often require program participation.

Source: Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, University of Minnesota


This report presents selected findings about the employment and educational outcomes of bachelor’s degree recipients 10 years after they completed their degrees. These findings are based on data from the 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study. The study is the third follow-up in a nationally representative longitudinal study of students who completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree during the 2007–08 academic year. The first follow-up, which was conducted in 2009, one year after their graduation, explored both undergraduate education experiences and early post-baccalaureate employment and enrollment. The second follow-up, conducted in 2012, examined bachelor’s degree recipients’ labor market experiences and enrollment in additional degree programs through the 4th year after graduation. This third follow-up, conducted in 2018, explores labor market experiences, financial aid debt and repayment, and post-baccalaureate enrollment through the 10th year after graduation. Finding include that during 2018, about 10 years after completing the 2007–08 bachelor’s degree, 63% of graduates owned a home and 86% had a retirement account. Twenty percent of graduates reported a negative net worth, and 14% reported they did not meet essential expenses, such as mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, or important medical care, in the past 12 months. Over half (59%) of 2007–08 graduates who were working in 2018 were doing so in the same state where they had earned their bachelor’s degree. Eighty-seven percent of working graduates considered their 2018 job a part of a career they were pursuing, 84% had employer-offered health insurance benefits, and 48% were supervising others on the job. Median earnings in 2018 varied among 2007–08 bachelor’s degree recipients who were working full time, with those in engineering fields ($93,000) earning about twice the median annualized salary of those in business support and administrative assistance fields ($46,000).

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education

Detentions and suspensions are common practices of school discipline, despite evidence that they are largely ineffective and disproportionately affect children from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly Black children, and children of lower socioeconomic status. However, few studies have examined suspension and detention rates among race, ethnicity, and family structure (single parent versus secondary caregiver) when controlling for typical behaviors associated with detention and suspension such as externalizing symptoms, age, sex, family income, family education, family conflict, and special education needs. Caregivers of 11,875 children between ages 9 and 10 years from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study completed a questionnaire assessing their child’s demographics, family information, emotions and behaviors, and past-year school discipline history. Data were analyzed with logistic regression, implemented with a generalized estimating equations model. The authors found that 5.4% of children received a detention or suspension. Controlling for typical predictors of behaviors, Black and multiracial Black children had up to 3.5 times greater odds of receiving a detention or suspension than White children; there were no disciplinary differences for Hispanic or Asian children compared to White children. Children from single-parent households had 1.4 times the odds of receiving detentions or suspensions than children in homes with a secondary caregiver. The authors find that disciplinary actions that can impair typical childhood development, lead to academic failure and dropout, and cause significant emotional and psychological distress disproportionately affect Black children, multiracial Black children, and children from single-parent homes.

Source: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

What works to help rural students succeed in higher education? A series of podcasts gathered experts from across the country to examine the realities of rural life and to address the educational challenges facing rural communities, such as low college enrollment rates, inadequate access to broadband internet, and lack of funding for rural education. This report summarizes the podcast series and focuses on four main issues: How are rural colleges adapting to the coronavirus pandemic? How are states approaching public-private partnerships to improve educational outcomes? What is the impact of racial diversity in rural America? How are communities and colleges pursuing economic development and preparing students for jobs in the modern economy?

Source: MDRC

Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) is the voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early learning providers in Los Angeles County who serve children from birth to age five. The goal of this developmental evaluation was to determine whether selected components of the QSLA model were feasible, appropriate, and being implemented as designed. The evaluation focused on two topics: (1) the QSLA assessment process and tier ratings and (2) QSLA coaching. Like other rating systems nationwide, QSLA aims to assess, improve, and communicate the quality of early care and education settings. QSLA was founded in 2016 by a consortium of seven community-based agencies and provides services to a diverse set of early learning settings, including center-based providers and family child care providers. As of June 2020, more than 800 early learning provider sites participated in QSLA, which represents approximately 10% of the licensed sites in Los Angeles County. Report recommendations include continuing to offer quality assessment supports that are tailored to providers' needs. Both providers and technical assistants felt that the supports helped providers navigate and manage the assessment process. Also, clearly explaining the details of the assessment process, including what to expect from assessment support and the assessment site visit, and create clear channels of communication for providers to learn about the tier ratings. Continuing to provide coaching services that are tailored to providers' goals. Providers and coaches cited the provider-driven nature of the coaching process as a strength. And finally, considering ways to involve assistant teachers and other support staff in the coaching process.

Source: RAND Corporation

Government Operations

As directed by the Legislature, OPPAGA examined the Department of the Lottery and assessed options to enhance its earning capability and improve its efficiency. Lottery transfers to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund declined in Fiscal Year 2019-20 to $1.914 billion, $13.3 million (0.7%) less than the prior year. This decline is primarily due to lower sales of draw games such as the multi-state POWERBALL and MEGA MILLIONS jackpot games, which were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of the Lottery continues to outperform the legislative performance standard for its operating expense rate, which is the third lowest in the nation. Several additional game and product distribution options are available to further increase transfers to education. However, some options could represent expanded gambling. In June 2020, the department launched a new mobile app. Among its features, the app allows players to check winning numbers and jackpots; check past winning numbers, prize levels, and payout amounts; and find Florida Lottery retailers. The department also implemented additional responsible play initiatives, which included providing employee and retailer training and pursuing certification for its responsible gaming programs. The department continues to implement its retailer integrity program, which includes analyzing data to identify suspicious patterns of behavior, following up on customer complaints, and conducting operations to identify retailers/clerks who steal winning tickets. The department further enhanced player protection by including a ticket scanning function in the new mobile app.

Source: Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Under Florida law, a driver must stop immediately at the scene of a crash on public or private property that results in property damage, injury or death. In 2019, preliminarily, there were more than 105,000 hit and run crashes in Florida. Leaving the scene of a crash is a felony and a driver, when convicted, will have their license revoked for at least three years and can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of four years in prison. In Florida, between 2015 and 2020, there were 600,185 hit-and-run crashes that resulted in 1,298 traffic fatalities. In 2020, 212 (83%) of the 255 fatalities from a hit-and-run occurred during dawn, dusk, or nighttime conditions. This data dashboard from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles allows the user to filter data on hit-and-run crash fatalities by year and county. The data presentation shows rate of hit-and-run crash fatalities by time of day and month.

Source: Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Using detailed transaction-level data from financial accounts, this paper shows that the revenues of small businesses and the consumption spending of their owners both decline by roughly 40% following the declaration of the national emergency in March 2020. However, through May 2020, the vast majority of this average decline in revenues is due to national factors rather than to variation in local infection rates or policies. Further, there is only a modest propensity for business owners to cut consumption in response to their individual business losses: Comparing owners in the same county but whose businesses operate in industries differentially impacted by local infections and state-level policies, the authors show that each dollar of revenue loss leads to a 1.6 cent decline in the consumption of the owner at this early stage of the pandemic. This limited pass-through appears to be explained by three factors: (1) the liquidity of households and businesses entering the crisis – consumption is twice as responsive for small business owners who operate with low liquidity; (2) emergency federal programs – median account balances in both business and checking accounts decline in March but rebound in April and May when the transfer programs begin; (3) pandemic induced declines in the ability to spend on consumption – spending on travel, restaurants, or personal services dropped dramatically.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Health and Human Services

The Veteran’s Affairs (VA) MISSION Act of 2018 established a new community care program, the Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP), aimed at providing care to veterans when it could not reasonably be delivered by providers at U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) medical facilities. The act also requires the VA to exclude from participation in the VCCP providers who lost a license for violating medical license requirements in any state or who the VA removed from employment for quality of care concerns or otherwise suspended from VA employment. This report examines, among other issues, VA and contractor processes to implement these eligibility restrictions on provider participation in the VCCP. The authors reviewed the VA’s contracts and contractor policies related to VCCP provider credentialing, interviewed VA and contractor officials, and assessed the provider credentialing requirements and processes. In addition, the authors collected data on former VA providers and compared these data to the database of VCCP providers. The authors make three recommendations to the VA, including that theVA require its contractors to have credentialing and monitoring policies that ensure compliance with VA MISSION Act license restrictions and that it assess the risk to veterans when former VA providers with quality concerns continue to provide VCCP care. The VA generally agreed with the authors’ three recommendations.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Behavioral health disparities, in which socially disadvantaged groups—such as racial/ethnic minorities, women, and sexual-orientation minorities—experience greater risk for certain mental health and substance use problems, are well documented in the general population. Less is known about whether similar behavioral health disparities exist among military service members. To investigate this issue, the authors examined (1) whether minority-group service members are more likely to experience mental health and substance use problems relative to their majority counterparts in the military and (2) whether minority–majority group differences in behavioral health in the military are similar to or different from those in the civilian population. Key findings include that minority service members experience behavioral health disparities, but patterns vary. For instance, racial/ethnic minority service members report mostly lower rates of behavioral health problems relative to white service members, although non-Hispanic black and Asian service members are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to report a suicide attempt. In addition, authors found that military women exhibit greater prevalence of mental health conditions but lower prevalence of substance use problems relative to military men. The authors also found that minority–majority group differences in behavioral health in the military are similar to those in the civilian world, but there are a small number of differences such as that non-Hispanic black and Hispanic service members have higher rates of suicide attempts than their white peers, whereas an opposite pattern was found among racial/ethnic minority civilians relative to their white peers. The authors make several recommendations including that to support the behavioral health of female service members, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) should consider addressing gender disparities in mental health outcomes and that DoD should ensure that prevention programs and behavioral health treatments address the specific needs and stressors experienced by minority service members to ensure optimal readiness in the military.

Source: RAND Corporation

This report uses data from the updated Social Genome Model to track the well-being of children from birth through age 30. The authors find that although almost half of all children are born into disadvantaged circumstances (such as being born into a family with low income), about 60% of all children are on track for healthy development while growing up and are economically stable and healthy by age 30. Stark differences emerge by race and ethnicity. Black, non-Hispanic and Hispanic children born into advantaged circumstances are less likely to be on track at age 30 than their non-Black, non-Hispanic counterparts born into disadvantaged circumstances. Over half of children are on track at birth (51%) by the authors’ definition, and nearly three in five (59%) are on track by age 30. Just under two-thirds of children are on track at each life stage from ages 5 through 14 (prekindergarten through early adolescence), with the share on track falling below 60% in adolescence and in the transition to adulthood. The most common factors indicating children are off track at birth are parents’ marital status and family income. In the prekindergarten, early elementary, and middle childhood stages, no single factor plays an outsize role in keeping children off track. Among early and other adolescents, cognitive/academic performance is the most important factor keeping them off track. In the two adult life stages, income plays the largest role.

Source: Urban Institute

This Commonwealth Fund brief synthesizes two Urban Institute reports on the public health insurance landscape for pregnant and postpartum women and the potential of a postpartum coverage extension to close coverage gaps. Authors offer several findings. The current system of publicly supported coverage options for pregnant and postpartum women is a complex patchwork that varies tremendously by income, immigration status, and state, leaving many new mothers uninsured. Approximately 123,000 of the nation’s estimated 440,000 women uninsured during the first year postpartum would likely be newly eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) if pregnancy-related coverage were extended for 12 months. Together with existing Medicaid and Marketplace coverage, such an extension would mean 70% of uninsured women would likely be eligible for some type of publicly subsidized coverage during the postpartum period. Extending pregnancy-related Medicaid/CHIP coverage for 12 months postpartum could increase the number of Americans with insurance during the postpartum period while expanding access to needed health care.

Source: Urban Institute

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PolicyNotes, published every Friday, features reports, articles, and websites with timely information of interest to policymakers and researchers. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by third parties as reported in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect OPPAGA's views.

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