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Bureau of Justice Assistance: Programs to Support Corrections

Police Force Size and Civilian Race

Transforming Juvenile Probation: Restructuring Probation Terms to Promote Success


Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Survey Analysis: Descriptive Statistics

COVID-19: Emergency Financial Aid for College Students under the CARES Act

Teacher Training for Quality Preschool-3rd Grade STEM Education

National Education Policy Center Review: The Drawbacks of Universal Pre-K: A Review of the Evidence


Life Cycle Costs and Benefits Analysis of Freight Transportation

Economic Adjustment Assistance: Experts' Proposed Reform Options to Better Serve Workers Experiencing Economic Disruption

Offshore Oil and Gas: Updated Regulations Needed to Improve Pipeline Oversight and Decommissioning


Understanding and Communicating about COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy, Effectiveness, and Equity

Barriers to Price and Quality Transparency in Health Care Markets

Impact of the COVID‐19 Pandemic on Parent, Child, and Family Functioning

April 30, 2021


This report provides information on a collection of programs available to support corrections officials. Programs and policies included in this report are body-worn cameras, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards implementation, contraband cellphones, and justice and mental health collaboration. The report also includes information on justice reinvestment, which is a program designed to identify and respond to crime and other public safety problems, explore innovative and cost-saving strategies, and to reinvest in strategies that can decrease crime and reduce recidivism. Additionally, the report describes four programs related to adult reentry.

Source: Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

The authors report the first empirical estimate of the race-specific effects of larger police forces in the United States. Each additional police officer abates approximately 0.1 homicides. In per capita terms, effects are twice as large for Black versus White victims. At the same time, larger police forces make more arrests for low-level quality-of-life offenses, with effects that imply a disproportionate burden for Black Americans. Notably, cities with large Black populations do not share equally in the benefits of investments in police manpower. These results provide novel empirical support for the popular narrative that Black communities are simultaneously over and under-policed.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

This guide provides a framework for how to define and structure youth probation terms to reduce the harm inherent in probation supervision, leverage community partnerships, and build community capacity to wrap youth and their households with any supports, resources, and services needed to promote success. Probation-system improvements have gained momentum over the past several years and a continued need exists to translate research and best practices into concrete recommendations for probation policy and practice that consider risk and potential harm to youth and promote community safety. This guide is intended to fill that gap by summarizing relevant research, offering practical guidance for implementing changes, and highlighting real-world examples from youth probation agencies across the country.

Source: Urban Institute


For the past 15 years, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded funding to states and territories to support the design and development of statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs). SLDSs collect, analyze, and use data that span individuals’ education experiences from preschool to the workforce. SLDSs are designed to help states, districts, schools, educators, and other stakeholders make data-informed decisions to improve student learning and outcomes. This report provides aggregate information about states and territories that connect data from different sources in their SLDSs. In order to explore the types of data they collect, how the data are defined, how the data systems are structured, and how the data are ultimately used, this report explores the following four study questions that represent a portion of the results collected from the survey: 1) What types of K–12 data are included in the SLDSs? 2) What is the capacity for linking K–12 student data in the SLDS to other data? How are the data linked? 3) Are there data dictionaries published to the state website? Are data aligned to the Common Education Data Standards? 4) How do states and territories use data for reporting and decision-making? Report findings include that K–12 student data were included in 94% of SLDSs (48 of 51 of the participating states and territories) in 2018. More than three-quarters of states and territories (79%) reported that they collect data across multiple agencies in a P-20W+ (early childhood through workforce) environment. The report documents several common data uses, including for instructional support, resources for stakeholders, and decision-making. The most commonly reported data use for almost all sectors of data was in resources like scorecards or dashboards for the public, parents, and community members.

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

As of November 2020, the U.S. Department of Education had distributed $6.19 billion in grants to 4,778 schools (colleges and other institutions of higher education) that had applied for emergency student aid funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) established by the federal CARES Act, which was enacted in March 2020. After many schools closed their physical campuses in spring 2020 in response to COVID-19, the department provided these grants to schools, based on a statutory formula, to give emergency financial assistance (student aid) to students who incurred related expenses, such as for housing, technology, and course materials. This report provides additional information and examines (1) how HEERF emergency student aid funds were provided to schools under the CARES Act, and (2) how schools distributed emergency student aid to eligible students. The majority of these HEERF student aid funds have been awarded to public schools. The average amount the Department of Education awarded per school was about $1.3 million, while amounts schools received ranged from less than $2,000 to more than $27 million, with half of schools receiving awards of $422,000 or less. Education data show that, as of November 2020, schools had drawn down about 90%—or $5.6 billion—of their HEERF student aid funds. About 70% of schools had drawn down all of their student aid funds, and an additional 24% of schools had drawn down at least half. Schools reported using two main methods for awarding HEERF emergency student aid to students: requiring students to complete a school-developed application or using existing school records. Approximately 18% of schools used a combination of both methods. For example, a 4-year non-profit school reported on its website that it awarded $300 to $500 to eligible students in its first round of funding based on existing student financial aid records, and then allowed students who had more expenses related to COVID-19 to apply for additional funding.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Teachers are the most influential of in-school factors that affect student achievement. Thus, if states are looking to improve instruction in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), they can start by developing or enhancing teacher development and support. Currently, 10 states mention science in training and preparation requirements for elementary teachers. This report explores approaches in seven of those states, which include Ohio and Tennessee, and highlights key program components that other states may learn from. Policy considerations include 1) improving the connection between pre-K and kindergarten; 2) identifying and addressing policies that pose barriers to STEM integration; 3) creating buy-in and training for school principals; 4) developing tools that demonstrate the natural connections between content standards in two or more disciplines; and 5) creating a state-supported online repository of high quality Preschool-3rd grade STEM curricular and instructional resources.

Source: Education Commission of the States

With universal pre-Kindergarten and child care back on the national political agenda, increased scrutiny of these proposals is expected and welcome. A Manhattan Institute policy brief reviews evidence relating to both means-tested and universal early childhood care and education programs. It concludes that both means-tested and universal programs may harm long-term child development, especially, but not only, for more advantaged children. The brief recommends rolling back the coverage of existing preschool education programs, increasing the intensity of services provided to the most deeply disadvantaged, and expanding child tax credits. The brief raises warnings about potential unintended negative consequences that are warranted, but omissions of research and unjustified assumptions make it a misleading and inadequate policy guide. The complexity of early care and education does not lend itself to simple policy prescriptions. A more meticulous review of the literature relying on fewer preconceptions might have led to more nuanced conclusions.

Source: National Education Policy Center

Government Operations

Freight plays an increasing role in the national, state, and local economy. However, the life-cycle costs and benefits of freight investments are difficult to quantify, and there is a lack of specific tools to evaluate the potential benefits of freight investment projects. In this research, the authors developed and implemented a methodology to evaluate life-cycle costs and benefits of freight transportation projects based on the authors’ previously developed economic impact analysis tool called FreighTEC. A post-processing tool, FreighTEC 2.0, is developed to assist the project prioritization process for the Florida Department of Transportation based on the freight forecast model -- Freight Supply-chain Intermodal Model. The FreighTEC 2.0 considers costs of the entirely life-cycle of freight investment projects, including planning, construction, operation and maintenance, and estimates the direct benefits to the users and economic impacts to the impacted county (i.e., local impacts) and state as a whole (i.e., state impacts).

Source: Florida Department of Transportation Research Center

Various economic disruptions, such as policy changes that affect global trade or the defense or energy industries and shifts in immigration, globalization, or automation, can lead to widespread job loss among workers within an entire region, industry, or occupation. The authors were asked about options for reforming the current policies and programs for helping workers weather economic disruption. This report describes a range of options, identified by experts, to reform the current policies and programs for helping workers weather economic disruption. One option identified is to establish lifelong learning accounts for workers through contributions of individual workers, employers, and government agencies to fund continuous education and training opportunities. Another option is to use the existing unemployment insurance system to better inform dislocated workers about the availability of and their eligibility for Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. These programs, which are provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), provide economically distressed communities and regions with resources to address a wide variety of economic needs, including the creation and retention of jobs and increased private investment. With the assistance of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the authors convened a 2-day, virtual roundtable in August 2020 with 12 experts, selected to represent a broad spectrum of views and expertise and a variety of professional and academic fields. They included academic researchers, program evaluators, labor economists, former federal agency officials, and state and local practitioners. The authors also reviewed relevant federal laws, prior reports, and other research.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

The offshore oil and gas industry has installed approximately 40,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines in federal offshore waters since the 1940s. The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is responsible for enforcing standards and regulations for oil and gas operations—including the oversight of active pipelines and their decommissioning—to enhance environmental protection and safety. As pipelines age, they are more susceptible to damage from corrosion, mudslides, and seafloor erosion, which can result in leakage of oil and gas into the ocean. Additionally, hurricanes can move pipelines extensive distances, which may damage subsea habitat, impede access to sediment resources, and create navigational and trawling hazards. The authors were asked to review BSEE's management of offshore oil and gas pipelines. This report examines BSEE's processes for (1) ensuring active pipeline integrity and (2) addressing safety and environmental risks posed by decommissioning. The authors found that BSEE does not ensure that standards, like cleaning and burial, are met. It also does not monitor pipeline condition or movement from currents over time. Further, if these pipelines later pose safety or environmental risks, there's no clear funding source for their removal. The authors recommended the BSEE further develop, finalize, and implement updated pipeline regulations.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Health and Human Services

Effective communication is needed to ensure shared understanding of how well COVID-19 vaccines work and whether they are being equitably distributed. Without clear, consistent, readily accessible communications, people may lose faith in the vaccines and in those providing them. State, tribal, local, and territorial officials can play a key role in conveying that information to community members or intermediaries in a timely, clear, authoritative way and in conveying community concerns to policy makers. This rapid expert consultation summarizes social, behavioral, and decision science research relevant to communicating how well COVID-19 vaccines work are and how equitably they are being distributed. It offers practical strategies for both the process and the content of such communication, recognizing that people respond to both how they learn about something and what they learn about it.

Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Consumers of health care in the United States often lack information on the actual prices of the care they receive and can also lack access to information about the quality of their care. This report gathered information on how health care prices are set, price variation in health care markets, barriers to price and quality transparency for consumers, and the extent to which price and quality information is used in marketing efforts. Public payers typically set prices for physicians and hospitals prospectively, and commercial health plans negotiate with physicians and hospitals to determine prices. Some research has shown substantial variation in negotiated prices, while other research suggests more moderate variation in some markets. Although the government does not directly affect prices paid by commercial health plans, commercial prices tend to be positively correlated with Medicare fee-for-service prices. Medicaid receives mandated rebates from drug manufacturers for dispensed prescriptions. Commercial health plans negotiate both the prices paid to pharmacies and any discounts and rebates received directly from drug manufacturers. Self-pay prices faced by consumers in pharmacies are set by individual pharmacies. The barriers to consumer price and quality transparency identified through this work generally represented limitations of existing tools. Consumer price transparency is being pursued by federal and state governments. Most commercial insurers have created price transparency tools to help members estimate the costs of various services. However, these tools can be difficult to navigate and do not always provide accurate pricing.

Source: RAND Corporation

To quantify the impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic and public health interventions on parent and child mental health and family relationships, the authors examined change in individual and family functioning in a sample of parents enrolled in a prevention trial. They examined change before the pandemic (2017–2019) when children were an average of 7 years old to the first months after the imposition of widespread public health interventions in the United States (2020) with paired t-tests and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) models. They examined moderation by parent gender, education, family income, and co-parenting conflict. The authors found large deteriorations from before the pandemic to the first months of the pandemic in child internalizing and externalizing problems and parent depression, and a moderate decline in co-parenting quality. Smaller changes were found for parent anxiety and parenting quality. Mothers and families with lower levels of income were at particular risk for deterioration in well‐being. Results indicate a need for widespread family support and intervention to prevent the potential for prolonged, intertwined individual mental health and family relationship problems.

Source: Family Process

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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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