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Human Trafficking Data-Collection Activities, 2020

Unequal Jury Representation and Its Consequences

What Jails Cost: A Look at Spending in America’s Large Cities


National Graduation Rate Increases in School Year 2018–19 for U.S. Students

Instructional Time Policy 101

Diversity in Schools: Immigrants and the Educational Performance of U.S. Born Students


Program Evaluation: Key Terms and Concepts

The Nation’s Fiscal Health: After Pandemic Recovery, Focus Needed on Achieving Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability

A Policy Manifesto for Paying, Protecting, and Empowering Essential Workers

The Impacts of Opportunity Zones on Zone Residents


State Disability Maps

Drug Poisoning Mortality, by State and by Race and Ethnicity: United States, 2019

Enrollment in Non-group Health Insurance by Income Group

April 2, 2021


This report describes the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) activities during 2019 and 2020 to collect data and report on human trafficking as required by the Combat Human Trafficking Act of 2015 (34 U.S.C. § 20709(e)(2)(B)). The report details ongoing and completed efforts to measure and analyze the nationwide incidence of human trafficking, to describe characteristics of human-trafficking victims and offenders, and to describe criminal justice responses to human-trafficking offenses by state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts. In 2019, BJS conducted its first data collection on the roles of state attorneys general in combatting human trafficking, with an overall response rate of 84%. Of the 47 attorneys general offices that responded to the survey, 3 reported closing one or more cases of labor trafficking with a guilty defendant, while 16 reported closing one or more cases of sex trafficking with a guilty defendant. Participation in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program Human Trafficking (UCR-HT) data collection, which tracks arrests and cases concerning commercial sex acts and involuntary servitude, grew from 37 states in 2015 to 45 states in 2019. The number of involuntary servitude arrests reported to the UCR-HT rose from 66 in 2015 to 146 in 2019. Arrests for commercial sex acts fluctuated between 2015 and 2017 then stabilized from 2017 to 2019, with 562 such arrests reported in 2019.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

The authors analyze the extent and consequences of unequal representation on juries in Harris County (Houston), Texas. The authors first document that residents from predominantly white and high-income neighborhoods are substantially over-represented on juries. Using quasi-random variation in those called for jury duty each day, the authors next establish that Black defendants are more likely to be convicted and receive longer sentences from juries with more residents from these over-represented neighborhoods. They estimate that equal representation would reduce Black defendants’ median sentence length by 50% and the probability of receiving a life sentence by 67%. Straightforward remedies such as oversampling residents from under-represented neighborhoods in calls for jury duty and expanding source lists of potential jurors beyond registered voters and individuals with a driver’s license could mitigate this severe bias.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Local governments spend $25 billion annually to operate more than 3,000 jails nationwide. There are more than 10 million bookings into jail each year, usually for crimes related to poverty, mental illness, and substance use. The cost and reach of jails are staggering. Fortunately, jail populations in the country’s largest cities have declined dramatically during the past decade. To see if spending on jails has changed in line with decreasing local incarceration numbers, this report examines the county jails in 48 large U.S. cities. Since 2011, jail budgets have increased 13%, accounting for inflation, while jail populations declined 28%. Jail costs have continued to increase because counties have not downsized the number of jail employees, who account for 73% of jail costs. If, in the 48 locations studied, local governments right-sized their jail budgets, they would save $2.2 billion a year; and potentially even more if jail populations decline further. Jail locations reviewed in Florida include Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville.

Source: Vera Institute of Justice


In academic year 2018–19, the national high school graduation rate for U.S. students increased by 0.5 percentage points from the previous year to 85.8%. This table provides the public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, by race/ethnicity and selected demographic characteristics for the United States, the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for school year 2018–19. For Florida, the statewide graduation rate was higher than the national rate at 87.2%. In Florida, students with disabilities had a graduation rate of 81.0% (compared to the national average of 68.2%) and Florida English Language Learners had a graduation rate of 75.2% (compared to the national average of 69.2%).

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

Instructional time policy is critical to education service delivery because it sets minimum, and sometimes maximum, requirements for learning time. Each state defines instructional time differently, and states have varying requirements in policy. This report provides an easy reference for top-level information on instructional time, including trends in policies and legislative examples. Thirty-one states (including Florida), plus the District of Columbia, require at least 180 days of instruction. Thirty-five states differentiate instructional time requirements by grade level. The median required instructional hours per year for 9th graders has increased from 1,016 in 2008 to 1,056 in 2020. Fewer states are specifying minimum instructional time per day requirements (35 states in 2007 down to 31 states in 2020).

Source: Education Commission of the States

The authors study the effect of exposure to immigrants on the educational outcomes of U.S.-born students, using a unique dataset combining population-level birth and school records from Florida. This research question is complicated by substantial school selection of U.S.-born students, especially among White and comparatively affluent students, in response to the presence of immigrant students in the school. The authors propose a new identification strategy to partial out the unobserved non-random selection into schools, and find that the presence of immigrant students has a positive effect on the academic achievement of U.S.-born students, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Moreover, the presence of immigrants does not affect negatively the performance of affluent U.S.-born students, who typically show a higher academic achievement compared to immigrant students. The authors provide suggestive evidence on potential channels.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Government Operations

Congress has passed a number of laws to help improve federal management and accountability—including the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010 and the Evidence Act of 2018. These acts aim to strengthen agencies' efforts to build strong evidence to support federal policies. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) developed this glossary to clarify some key concepts that can help federal agencies strengthen the quality of their evidence. It highlights different sources of evidence that can support federal decision-making—such as program evaluations and performance measurement. Both the executive branch and congressional committees need evaluative information to help them make decisions about the programs they oversee—information that tells them whether, and why, a program is working well or not. The GPRA of 1993 and GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 established a framework for performance management and accountability within the federal government. Building on that foundation, Congress has since passed, among other laws, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Evidence Act) to strengthen the evidence-building efforts of executive branch agencies. This product updates the GAO’s previous glossary to highlight different types of evaluations for answering questions about program performance, as well as relevant issues to ensure study quality. This glossary can help officials better understand fundamental concepts related to evaluation and enhance their evidence-building capacity.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

The COVID-19 pandemic required a major federal response. But even before that, the federal government's long-term fiscal path was unsustainable because debt was growing faster than the economy. Under the authors’ projections, the debt will reach its highest point in history in 2028 and continue to grow faster than gross domestic product. In Fiscal Year 2020, debt held by the public reached about 100% of GDP, up from about 79% in Fiscal Year 2019. Once public health goals are achieved and the economy substantially recovers, Congress and the administration should quickly pivot to putting the government on a sustainable long-term fiscal path. The authors list options to contribute toward fiscal health including narrowing the tax gap, addressing improper payments, and implementing program reforms.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

From housekeeping to grocery retail to care work, risky, essential jobs are disproportionately low-paying. Using essential worker classifications and 2018 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this study finds that 22.3 million essential workers were in occupations with a median wage of less than $15 an hour—comprising approximately half (47%) of all workers in these low-wage occupations. Black and brown workers are overrepresented among essential workers in low-wage frontline positions that pose health risks. Several studies show that essential workers’ workplace exposure to COVID-19 has resulted in higher rates of contracting the virus, severe illness, and death. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania determined that essential workers in Pennsylvania had a 55% higher likelihood than non-essential workers of testing positive for COVID-19 during the spring 2020 shutdown. Cohabitating dependents of essential workers had a 17% higher likelihood of testing positive, while roommates had a 38% higher likelihood. The report provides three recommendations related to essential worker pay, three recommendations to increase protection for essential workers (including prioritizing their vaccine access), and one recommendation to empower essential workers.

Source: Brookings Institute

Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, the Opportunity Zone program was designed to encourage investment in distressed communities across the U.S. The authors examine the early impacts of the Opportunity Zone program on residents of targeted areas. The authors leverage restricted-access microdata from the American Community Survey and employ difference-in-differences and matching approaches to estimate causal reduced-form effects of the program. The results point to modest, if any, positive effects of the Opportunity Zone program on the employment, earnings, or poverty of zone residents.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Health and Human Services

This interactive map highlights state- and county-level variation in disability prevalence and participation rates in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs among working-age adults (ages 18 to 64) in 2018. The national disability prevalence is 10% with 43 working-age adults per 1,000 on SSDI and 18 working-age adults per 1,000 on SSI. In Florida, the disability prevalence is also 10% with 45 working-age adults per 1,000 on Social Security Disability Insurance and 14 working-age adults per 1,000 on Supplemental Security Income. The counties in Florida with the highest percentage of disability prevalence are Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Collier, Hardee, and Seminole.

Source: Mathematica

In 2019, 70,630 deaths from the toxic effects of drug poisoning (drug overdose) occurred in the United States, a 4.8% increase compared with 2018 and the highest recorded number in recent history. Drug overdose deaths remain a persistent and urgent public health problem in the U.S. This report provides information on drug overdose mortality by state (and the District of Columbia) and by race and ethnicity, and adds to findings from a recently published report on drug overdose death rates. The age-adjusted rate for drug overdose deaths in the United States for 2019 was 21.6 per 100,000 standard population. The five states with the highest rates were West Virginia (52.8), Delaware (48.0), District of Columbia (43.2), Ohio (38.3), and Maryland (38.2). The five states with the lowest rates were Nebraska (8.7), South Dakota (10.5), Texas (10.8), North Dakota (11.4), and Iowa (11.5). Florida had 25.5 deaths per 100,000 standard population. The age-adjusted drug overdose death rate for the non-Hispanic white population in 2019 (26.2 per 100,000 standard population) was 21.3% higher than the national rate. The rate for the non-Hispanic black population (24.8) was 14.8% higher than the national rate. The rate for the non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native population (30.5) was 41.2% higher than the national rate. The rate for the non-Hispanic Asian population (3.3) was 84.7% lower than the national rate. The rate for the non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population (9.5) was 56.0% lower than the national rate. The rate for the Hispanic population (12.7) was 41.2% lower than the national rate.

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

In the United States, most people obtain health insurance either through an employer or a public program like Medicare or Medicaid. But some people—about 11% of the non-elderly population in 2019 according to this paper’s estimates—lack access to public or employer coverage. These people must instead seek non-group coverage, either through the marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or outside the marketplaces. For many purposes, including assessing proposals to increase non-group enrollment such as the recently enacted increases in the ACA’s subsidies for marketplace plans, it is useful to know how many people have non-group coverage, what forms of non-group coverage they have, how many potential enrollees remain unenrolled, and how enrollment rates vary by income. To that end, this paper estimates how many non-elderly people in different income groups held marketplace coverage, off-marketplace coverage that qualifies as minimum essential coverage (MEC) under the ACA, or non-MEC non-group policies (e.g., short-term limited duration plans), as well as how many lacked any coverage, in 2019. For instance, this paper found that half of potential subsidy recipients were enrolled in non-group MEC, and take-up rates varied only modestly with income. In addition, the authors found that the large majority of potential subsidy recipients who lacked MEC had incomes below 400% of the federal poverty level.

Source: Brookings Institute

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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.


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