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Federal Justice Statistics, 2017-2018

Synthetic Opioids: Considerations for the Class-Wide Scheduling of Fentanyl-Related Substances

Looking Beyond Conviction History: Recommendations for Public Housing Authority Admissions Policies


Graduate Medical Education: Programs and Residents Increased during Transition to Single Accreditor; Distribution Largely Unchanged

The Credentials Students Earn Beyond a High School Diploma

How Do Weighted Funding Formulas Affect Charter School Enrollments?

States Establish Holocaust Education Policies


Commuting by Public Transportation in the United States: 2019

Housing Counseling to Support Renters in Crisis

Neighborhood Segregation Persists for Black, Latino or Hispanic, and Asian Americans


COVID-19: Efforts to Increase Vaccine Availability and Perspectives on Initial Implementation

Co-involvement of Opioids in Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Cocaine and Psychostimulants

Disordered Eating in a Population-Based Sample of Young Adults During the COVID‐19 Outbreak

April 23, 2021


This report is the 32nd in an annual series based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistic's Federal Justice Statistics Program, which began in 1979. It provides national statistics on the federal response to crime for Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018. The report describes case-processing in the federal criminal-justice system, including investigations by U.S. attorneys, prosecutions and declinations, convictions and acquittals, sentencing, pre-trial release, detention, appeals, probation and parole, and prisons. Report highlights include that during Fiscal Year 2018, federal law enforcement made 195,771 arrests, a 38% increase from the 142,008 arrests in Fiscal Year 2017. The most common arrests were for immigration law violations (56% of all arrests), followed by parole violations (13% of all arrests) and drug-related offenses (11% of all arrests). An immigration offense was the most serious arrest offense in 56% of federal arrests in Fiscal Year 2018. In Fiscal Year 2018, the five federal judicial districts along the U.S.-Mexico border accounted for 65% of federal arrests. Drug Enforcement Administration arrests in Fiscal Year 2018 most often involved methamphetamine (8,088 arrests), followed by heroin and opioids (7,098 arrests).

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice

In 2018, substances related to fentanyl (a very potent synthetic opioid) were temporarily classified as Schedule I. This designated them as illicit drugs with high abuse potential and no medical use. This classification has likely affected research, law enforcement, and more. For example, a Schedule I classification may discourage criminal activity, but it can also make it harder for researchers to study a drug. There are a few ways to classify fentanyl-related drugs once the temporary classification expires in May 2021. For each option, this report identifies possible tradeoffs (such as complicating law enforcement or making research easier). Options explored include 1) allow the temporary scheduling order to expire; 2) allow the current temporary scheduling order to be made permanent through legislative scheduling; and 3) legislatively schedule Fentanyl-related substances with modifications including those recommended by an interagency workgroup convened by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, such as removing barriers to research and streamlining the process for removing substances from Schedule I if they are discovered to have no abuse potential.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Safe, affordable housing is essential for the millions of people released from U.S. jails and prisons each year. But most public housing authorities have admissions policies that prevent formerly incarcerated people from living there. For nearly all types of convictions, housing authorities exercise their individual discretion to set eligibility criteria. Federal policymakers have encouraged public housing authorities to rethink limits on public housing for people with criminal conviction histories and to actively address barriers to housing that can reinforce discrimination. This report presents eight recommendations: 1) shorten the lookback period for a criminal activity to maximum of three years; 2) screen for a limited number of convictions and not for arrests; 3) conduct an individualize assessment of the applicants’ conviction histories; 4) discontinue the use of one-strike policies and instead adopt a case-by-case decision-making process; 5) allow individuals on probation or parole to live in public housing using the same case-by-case decision-making process; 6) limit the use of past evictions to determine public housing eligibility; 7) specify and limit housing application denials due to illegal drug use; and 8) include absence as a result of incarceration as a permitted temporary absence and allow people to stay in housing while completing diversion or alternative-to-incarceration programs.

Source: Vera Institute of Justice


Graduate medical education (residency) prepares a doctor to independently practice medicine in the U.S. In 2014, the two primary groups that accredited residency programs announced a plan for programs to transition to a single accreditor. In July 2020, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education became the sole accreditor. During this transition, the number of programs and residents increased while the relative number of residents enrolled in specialty or sub-specialty programs did not change. For example, 83% of residents trained in a specialty program like internal medicine in academic years 2014-2015 and 2019-2020. The geographic distribution of programs and residents was largely unchanged between 2014-2015 and 2019-2020. In both years, most (about 60%) programs and residents were located in the South and Northeast, and nearly all (98%) programs and residents trained in urban areas.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Individuals in the United States can pursue a variety of different types of postsecondary education credentials. Four common types are degrees, certificates, industry certifications and licenses, and apprenticeships. Bachelor's degrees are the most commonly awarded postsecondary credential in the United States (approximately two million each year), though at least one million each of associate degrees, graduate degrees, and certificates are also awarded annually. Programs such as apprenticeships and dislocated worker programs also provide training to hundreds of thousands of adults each year, and these programs often result in industry-recognized credentials. In national surveys, 47% of Americans report holding some type of degree, and approximately one-fifth report holding a license or certification. While those earning postsecondary credentials are diverse, disparities by race and ethnicity remain. Consider the population of students who enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in 2017: 27% of enrollees were over the age of 25, and 45% of enrollees came from racial and ethnic minority groups. Approximately 5% of all enrollees in degree-granting institutions were foreign students. Yet significant disparities exist in U.S. postsecondary attainment by race and ethnicity. Approximately 67% of White adults and 74% of Asian adults reported having some type of postsecondary education, compared with 55% of Black adults and about 40% of Hispanic adults. Disparities were most prominent at the bachelor’s and graduate degree levels, with 40% of White adults and 58% of Asian adults earning at least a four-year degree, compared with 26% of Black adults and 18% of Hispanic adults. White adults in the United States were also more likely to earn licenses and certifications (26%) relative to Asian, Black, and Hispanic adults (21%, 22%, and 16%, respectively).

Source: RAND Corporation

Most states now adjust school funding to account for the costs of additional educational needs that certain groups of students are thought to have. These weighted student funding systems (WSF) differ in terms of which student characteristics are weighted, but additional funding weights are commonly given to students who require special education services or are English language learners or low-income. In the study, the author analyzed the effects of a WSF policy implemented in 2013 in California that plausibly changed the incentives for charter schools to enroll disadvantaged students without a similar change of the incentives for students or their families to enroll in charter schools. The author looked at all charter schools in the state, without distinguishing non-profits from for-profits. The adoption of a school funding system in California that increased revenues for schools enrolling higher-need students led to an increase in the rate at which charter schools enrolled low-income students. This effect was concentrated among charter schools initially enrolling low-income students at relatively low rates, suggesting that some charters “cream skim” high achieving, wealthier students, but that such behavior also can be mitigated.

Source: American Education Research Association

This resource provides a summary of state actions to encourage Holocaust education or establish commissions or councils to develop or assist in the development of Holocaust education and programs. Some current state legislation requires collaboration with outside organizations to help develop materials or best practices for instruction. Other state legislation requires reporting, including Delaware and Florida, which require schools or districts to provide the department of education with information regarding how requirements were met or provide evidence that they were met. So far in 2021, at least 9 bills have been introduced on Holocaust education in schools across eight states: Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Source: Education Commission of the States

Government Operations

Public transportation commuters constituted about 5% of all workers in the United States in 2019. Though public transportation was a relatively uncommon method of traveling to work in the United States as a whole, it played a prominent role in certain places. This report describes the status of public transportation commuting in the United States, beginning with the distribution of public transportation commuters across different transit modes, proceeding to summarize key geographic and demographic patterns, and concluding with a glimpse at historical trends in public transportation. Commuting by public transportation was somewhat more common in 2019 among women and younger workers. Women made up a smaller share of the overall workforce, but because a larger percentage of women than men commuted by public transportation (5.2% compared to 4.7%), a roughly even quantity of men and women rode transit to work in 2019. Workers aged 25 to 29 commuted to work by public transportation at relatively high percentages compared to other age groups. About 7% of women aged 25 to 29 commuted by public transportation in 2019, higher than the 6.3% of men in the same age group. Among workers aged 35 to 44, statistically even shares of men and women commuted by public transportation, but among workers aged 45 and over, the share of women commuting by transit was consistently higher than men. Among both men and women, the share of workers commuting by public transportation generally declined with age, though more markedly for men than for women.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year, millions of renters remain in crisis. In response to the ongoing crisis, organizations that provide housing counseling have been adapting their services to better meet renters’ needs. Based on interviews with representatives from organizations that support counseling agencies or provide counseling directly to renters, this report explores the ways that the housing counseling field has responded to the needs of renters in crisis and the resources required to strengthen counseling as an effective tool for helping renters obtain housing stability. Key takeaways from these interviews include: 1) virtual counseling services have some benefits but also create equity concerns; 2) counseling reaches vulnerable renters and communities of color, but more effort may be needed; 3) renters need rental assistance and financial support to meet basic needs; 4) renters and counselors need access to both rental assistance and legal expertise; 5) providers face funding and capacity constraints; and 6) landlords may also need assistance.

Source: Urban Institute

There is an enduring persistence of neighborhood residential segregation of people of color from white residents due to a well-known history of discriminatory practices imposed by government and private sector forces. The analysis presented in this report draws from the most recently available Census Bureau American Community Survey data to examine neighborhood residential segregation over the 2015-2019 period. It shows that despite the fact that people of color account for the vast majority of recent U.S. population growth, white residents almost everywhere, including those in the nation’s most diverse metropolitan areas, continue to reside in mostly white neighborhoods. At the same time, Black and Latino or Hispanic Americans in most metropolitan areas reside in neighborhoods that are disproportionately comprised of members of those same groups. These patterns have changed only modestly since the 21st century began. While measurable progress in closing the nation’s racial divide has been made on many fronts, including in educational attainment, hiring, and the rise in multiracial marriages, race-ethnic segregation in American neighborhoods represents an area where historical patterns are slow to change.

Source: Brookings Institution

Health and Human Services

Providing the public with safe and effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19 is crucial to mitigating the public health and economic impacts of the disease. The U.S. had almost 30 million reported cases and over 545,000 reported deaths as of March 27, 2021. The federal government took a critical step in December 2020 in authorizing the first two COVID-19 vaccines and beginning distribution of doses across the nation. The government had distributed about 180.6 million vaccine doses, and about 147.8 million doses had been administered, as of March 27, 2021, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. The authors reviewed COVID-19 vaccine availability and initial vaccine distribution and administration. The government has taken steps to make more doses available, such as helping vaccine companies expand manufacturing capacity. Manufacturing and distribution must increase significantly to make enough doses available for all adults, so managing public expectations is key. Associations representing state and local health officials reported challenges such as not knowing how many doses they would get or when. The government's national COVID-19 strategy includes vaccination activities, such as designating new vaccination sites.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Deaths from drug overdose continue to contribute to the public health burden in the United States. The increase in the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine and psychostimulants has been well-documented in recent years. This report provides additional information on drug overdose deaths involving cocaine and other psychostimulants (drugs such as methamphetamine, amphetamine, and methylphenidate) by examining the concurrent involvement of opioids. Trends from 2009 through 2019 and differences by census region in 2019 are presented. Key findings in the report include that from 2009 through 2019, the rate of overdose deaths involving both cocaine and opioids increased at a faster pace than the rate of overdose deaths with cocaine but no opioids. In 2019, 76% of overdose deaths involving cocaine also involved an opioid; the percentage varied by region, from 83% in the Northeast to 63% in the West. From 2009 through 2016, the rate of overdose deaths involving psychostimulants but no opioids was higher than the rate for deaths involving both drugs; from 2017 through 2019, the pattern reversed with a higher rate for deaths involving both psychostimulants and opioids. In 2019, 54% of overdose deaths involving psychostimulants also involved an opioid; the percentage varied by region, from 80% in the Northeast to 44% in the West.

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

The present study aimed to describe the experience of, and factors associated with, disordered eating in a population-based sample of emerging adults during the COVID-19 outbreak. Low stress management was significantly associated with a higher count of extreme unhealthy weight control behaviors. Food insecurity, higher depressive symptoms, and financial difficulties were significantly associated with a higher count of less extreme unhealthy weight control behaviors. Higher stress and depressive symptoms were significantly associated with greater odds of binge eating. Six themes pertaining to disordered eating during the pandemic emerged: (a) mindless eating and snacking; (b) increased food consumption; (c) generalized decrease in appetite or dietary intake; (d) eating to cope; (e) pandemic‐related reductions in dietary intake; and (f) re‐emergence or marked increase in eating disorder symptoms. Psychological distress, stress management, financial difficulties, and abrupt schedule changes may have contributed to disordered eating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions that target stress management, depressive symptoms, and financial strain and provide tools to develop a routine may be particularly effective for emerging adults at risk of developing disordered eating during public health crises.

Source: International Journal of Eating Disorders

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