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Estimating the Financial Costs of Crime Victimization: Study Delineates Research Needs To Inform Victim Services Policies, Programs

A Monumental Shift: Restoring Access to Pell Grants for Incarcerated Students

Incarcerated Parents and Termination of Parental Rights in Connecticut: Recommendations for Reform


Governors’ State of the State Addresses: Education-Related Proposals

National Guard Youth ChalleNGe: Program Progress in 2019–2020

Optimized Collusion Prevention for Online Exams During Social Distancing


Annual Survey of Manufactures Industrial Robotic Equipment: 2018

COVID-19 Housing Protections: Moratoriums Have Helped Limit Evictions, but Further Outreach Is Needed

Youth Unemployment Rates in Metro Areas, 2019 to 2020

Preserving Small Rental Buildings During the COVID-19 Crisis


Food Insecurity in Florida

COVID-19 in Nursing Homes: Health and Human Services Has Taken Steps in Response to Pandemic, but Several GAO Recommendations Have Not Been Implemented

Motor Vehicle Traffic Death Rates, by Sex, Age Group, and Road User Type: United States, 1999–2019

Core Principles of Public Health Emergency Preparedness

March 26, 2021


This resource looks at ways criminal justice system policymakers and practitioners could benefit from more complete and precise crime victimization cost data and tools to drive more equitable crime victim support, including direct victim compensation and other victim services. Crime victimization is a vast social harm. Its full cost to individuals and communities is still unknown, but the ultimate financial tally is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars — up to 6% of the gross domestic product. Criminal justice system policymakers and practitioners could benefit from more complete and precise crime victimization cost data and tools to reset the baseline for proportionate allocation of remedial resources. Better data could drive more equitable crime victim support, including direct victim compensation and other victim services. A research team led by the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) identified in detail research needs to support victim services policy and practice. The association partnered with the Urban Institute and the National Center for Victims of Crime on the study, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. The study’s objectives were to develop an understanding of what information is needed most by those who serve victims of crime, and examine ways to quantify crimes committed by institutions — such as businesses and non-profits — while recognizing that it is often individuals who ultimately suffer. Some of the study’s recommendations for future victimization cost research, presented in more detail in the research report, were to: 1) comprehensively summarize existing research and resources; 2) study repeat and series victimization; 3) study hard-to-reach victim subpopulations; and 4) develop conventions to measure uncertainty in victimization cost estimates.

Source: National Institute of Justice

In December 2020, the U.S. Congress lifted a 26-year ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students. The ban, enacted amid a slew of tough-on-crime policies in the 1990s, stripped people in prison of access to this federal financial aid. Incarcerated people earn pennies per hour for the work they do in prison, making it next to impossible for them to afford postsecondary education without financial support. Under the ban, the number of prison education programs shrank drastically, from 772 programs in the early 1990s to only eight in 1997. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act, which restores access to Pell Grants for people in prison, will make it possible once again for thousands to pursue postsecondary education. The report notes that the law is sentence-blind, meaning that all incarcerated people can apply for Pell Grants, regardless of conviction or sentence length. The act creates new evaluation and reporting guidelines for prison education programs to ensure that they are operating in the best interest of students.

Source: Vera Institute of Justice

Connecticut’s children with incarcerated parents are at greater risk of permanent, legal severance of their relationships with their parents than children whose parents are not in prison. The federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), enacted in 1997, provides monetary incentives for states to legally terminate children’s parental ties when they have spent 15 of the past 22 months in foster care. This paper outlines the history of ASFA as well as its current application in Connecticut to children with parents in prison. The paper also recommends a number of policy reforms that will promote the integrity of Connecticut families with incarcerated parents. Many of those reforms can be implemented without putting a strain on the state budget and some can be implemented with reinvestment of budget savings from the closure of prisons.

Source: Yale Law School Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic, Connecticut Voices for Children, and Connecticut Children of Incarcerated Parents


Education Commission of the States tracks education-related proposals from governors’ annual State of the State addresses. In Florida, the Governor’s address included highlighting the state's emphasis on vocational education, noting that the state leads the nation in school choice, and highlighting that the state increased the average minimum salary for teachers. The Governor of Georgia noted that the state has reduced testing requirements, praised the National Guard for helping Atlanta-area schools deliver meals to children during the spring and summer of 2020, and discussed a University System of Georgia pilot program that would allow 10,000 juniors and seniors with unmet financial obligations to stay enrolled. This resource has links with similar summaries for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Source: Education Commission of the States

The National Guard Youth Challenge (ChalleNGe) program serves young people who are experiencing difficulty in traditional high school through a quasi-military, 5.5-month residential program. The ongoing analyses of the ChalleNGe program are designed to meet multiple objectives. The first is to gather and analyze existing data from each ChalleNGe site to support the program's yearly report to Congress. To that end, the authors of this report document the progress of program participants (or "cadets") in 2019 and 2020. Participation in the ChalleNGe program remains strong; nearly 13,000 young people entered the ChalleNGe program during 2019, and over 9,500 of those graduated. Among graduates, the vast majority left the program with a recognized credential or with credits toward high school graduation. ChalleNGe is a well-established program with sites in the majority of states, including Florida, but given the relatively short duration of the residential portion, the program provides limited career and technical training. In recent years, Job ChalleNGe programs have been established at six sites. Job ChalleNGe builds on the ChalleNGe model by providing additional training to ChalleNGe graduates. Job ChalleNGe provides this training through a 5.5-month residential program that focuses on developing career and technical skills. The authors of this report provide initial implementation findings in this document and include a summary of planned future analyses to support ChalleNGe and Job ChalleNGe. Additionally, the authors examine some of the effects of the COVID-19pandemic on both programs. This report found that 2019 class performance on outcome measures is similar to earlier cohorts. Among 2019 entrants, more than 9,500 young people completed ChalleNGe; of those, over 70% received an education credential. Applicants and entrants to the program trended up slightly. Graduation rates vary across sites and appear to be influenced by site-level factors. Some variation can be tied to local- or state-level factors, but some is related to site-level factors. Graduation rates are higher at larger sites, at sites that provide cadets with home passes, at sites that cadets are able to visit before entering the program, and at sites with lower staff turnover. Many of the sites experienced some level of disruption during the data collection period because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors expect that the pandemic may have multiple effects over the next few classes.

Source: RAND Corporation

Online education is important in the COVID-19 pandemic, but online exams at individual homes invites students to cheat in various ways, especially collusion. While physical proctoring is impossible during social distancing, online proctoring is costly, compromises privacy, and can lead to prevailing collusion. Here the authors develop an optimization-based anti-collusion approach for distanced online testing by minimizing the collusion gain, which can be coupled with other techniques for cheating prevention. With prior knowledge of student competences, the distanced online testing technology optimizes sequences of questions and assigns them to students in synchronized time slots, reducing the collusion gain by 2–3 orders of magnitude relative to the conventional exam in which students receive their common questions simultaneously. The distanced online testing theory allows control of the collusion gain to a sufficiently low level. A recent final exam in the distanced online testing format has been successful, as evidenced by statistical tests and a post-exam survey.

Source: Nature Partner Journal: Science of Learning

Government Operations

The 2018 Annual Survey of Manufactures conducted a survey on the total number of industrial robots in operation at manufacturing plants, the number of robots purchased, and the capital expenditures for new and used industrial robotic equipment. This survey was conducted for the first time to fill a data gap for manufacturing plants on how and when robotics contribute to productivity, the conditions under which they complement or substitute for labor, and how they shape regional economies. Data was collected from employer businesses at the establishment level and tabulated using the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code assigned to the establishment based on primary business activity. Florida had 3.8% of its manufacturing plants with robots (less than the national average of 9.5%) and 9.2% of its manufacturing employees exposed to robots (less than the national average of 28.3%). Michigan leads the nation with 20.9% of its manufacturing plants with robots and 48.3% of its manufacturing employees exposed to robots.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Eviction moratoriums at the federal, state, and local levels reduced eviction filings during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, some eligible renters may not have benefitted from a recent federal moratorium. The authors’ analysis of 63 jurisdictions found that the median rate of eviction filings was about 74% lower in the last week of July 2020—when a moratorium included in the CARES Act expired—than in the same week in 2019. Eviction filings remained lower throughout 2020 (relative to 2019) but gradually increased during a separate moratorium ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September 2020. During this moratorium, jurisdictions without separate state or local moratoriums experienced larger increases in eviction filings, which suggests that some renters may not fully understand how to use the CDC moratorium (completing required documentation). The CDC extended its moratorium through March 31, 2021, but has taken few steps to promote awareness and understanding of the moratorium and its requirements. Clear, accurate, and timely information is essential to keep the public informed during the pandemic. Without a communication and outreach plan, including federal coordination, the CDC will be missing an opportunity to ensure that eligible renters avoid eviction.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

From 2019 to 2020, unemployment among youth increased across all large metro areas. Those with the largest percentage change in youth unemployment, compared to the previous year, were Orlando; Burlington (VT); Denver; Baltimore; Nashville; Sacramento; Cincinnati; San Antonio; San Francisco; and Boston. Unemployment rates for youth in these 10 areas increased by more than 150%. In a total of 22 metro areas, youth unemployment rates more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, in absolute terms, the metro areas with the highest youth unemployment rates included Las Vegas, Detroit, and Los Angeles, with more than one out of five youth reported to be unemployed. Other metro areas in which the youth unemployment rate was above the national average (15.1%) included Washington, D.C.; St. Louis; Tampa; Charlotte; Philadelphia; Cincinnati; San Antonio; Denver; San Francisco; Seattle; Providence; New York City; Baltimore; Chicago; and Miami.

Source: Mathematica

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected renters who live in small rental properties (2 to 49 units) and owners of these units. In this brief, the authors explore policies and programs that could preserve this type of stock, which is an important source of low- to moderate-cost rental housing. At the federal level, the Small Building Risk Sharing program, the First Look program, and a stabilization acquisition emergency fund could be implemented or expanded to provide flexible financing to small rental building owners. State and local preservation programs, that have been successful in at least one geography, include private-public partnerships to buy unsubsidized housing and keep it affordable, forgivable or low-interest rehabilitation loans, and right of first refusal. With additional funding, these types of programs could be expanded to preserve affordable supply and to complement federal policies. These programs would all require some level of new funding, either through new federal appropriations or state and local sources. It is unlikely that state and local programs will have the funding to stand-up programs to preserve small rental housing at the scale needed. It is essential that the federal government provide funding to ensure that small rental buildings are preserved. In addition to federal appropriations, some innovative funding sources could be tapped to support such activities. For example, the 10 basis-point tax on government-sponsored enterprise guarantee fees, passed in 2011 to fund a temporary cut in the payroll tax, is set to expire in 2021. This tax could be continued and repurposed for affordable housing. In a similar vein, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which was created to encourage capital investments by international investors, could be amended to allow the preservation of a minimum number of affordable units to be a permitted investment. These affordable housing funds could support federal programs or be allocated to localities to administer through local preservation programs.

Source: Urban Institute

Health and Human Services

This OPPAGA presentation to the Florida Legislature’s Senate Committee on Agriculture on March 10, 2021 identifies definitions and measures of food insecurity in Florida based on a review of academic literature and other studies. The presentation also identifies commonly used measures of food insecurity and their limitations. Food insecurity in the U.S. decreased from 14.9% in 2011 to 10.5% in 2019 and decreased in Florida from 16.2% in 2014 to 13% in 2019. The presentation includes county-level maps that provide rates of household food insecurity for 2018, child food insecurity for 2018, projected food insecurity rates for 2020, federal food assistance program participation rates, and other economic indicators.

Source: Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the 1.4 million elderly or disabled residents in the nation's more than 15,000 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes, who are often in frail health and living in close proximity to one another. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), primarily through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has led the pandemic response in nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a Nursing Home Commission report and recommendations in September 2020. When the report was released, CMS broadly outlined the actions the agency had taken, but the agency did not provide a plan that would allow it to track its progress. The authors recommended in November 2020 that HHS develop an implementation plan. As of February 2021, this recommendation had not been implemented. In addition, HHS has not implemented the authors’ recommendation to fill COVID-19 data voids. CMS required nursing homes to begin reporting the number of cases and deaths to the agency effective May 8, 2020. However, CMS made the reporting of the data prior to this date optional. The authors recommended in September 2020 that HHS develop a strategy to capture more complete COVID-19 data in nursing homes retroactively back to January 1, 2020. As of February 2021, this recommendation had not been implemented.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Motor vehicle traffic deaths are one of the leading contributors to unintentional injury deaths in the United States. Recent studies have described changes in the rates of motor vehicle traffic deaths for different demographic groups. This report provides national trends in motor vehicle traffic deaths by sex, age group, and type of road user (i.e., motor vehicle occupant, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or pedal cyclist) from 1999 through 2019 using the latest mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System. Motor vehicle traffic death rates were stable from 1999 to 2006, declined on average by 8% each year from 2006 (14.5 per 100,000) to 2010, and then increased from 2010 through 2019. Among males, differences in the rates by age group diminished over time; by 2019, the rate for males aged 15–24, the group with the highest rate in 1999, was lower than the rate for males aged 25–64 and 65 and over. Among females, rates for all age groups decreased from 1999 through 2019. Rates for motor vehicle occupants decreased by 37% from 12.0 per 100,000 in 1999 to 7.6 per 100,000 in 2019.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This report was presented before the Florida House of Representatives Pandemics and Public Emergencies Committee on March 16, 2021. The testimony includes sixteen common elements of public health emergency preparedness, falling into three broad categories: 1) rapid response capabilities including incident command systems and establishing a robust supply chain; 2) expert and fully staffed workforce made up of workers and volunteers trained to perform optimally in a public health emergency; and 3) performance management, financial tracking, and testing operational capabilities.

Source: RAND Corporation

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Government Program Summaries (GPS) is a free resource for legislators and the public that provides descriptive information on over 200 state government programs. To provide fiscal data, GPS links to Transparency Florida, the Legislature's website that includes continually updated information on the state's operating budget and daily expenditures by state agencies.


A publication of the Florida Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability

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