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Alcohol and Drug Use and Treatment Reported by Prisoners: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016

State and Local Law Enforcement Training Academies, 2018 – Statistical Tables

Report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2020


Technical Report and User Guide for the 2016 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Young Adult Follow-up Study

The Dynastic Benefits of Early Childhood Education

Students Attending School Remotely Suffer Socially, Emotionally, and Academically


COVID-19 Housing Protections: Mortgage Forbearance and Other Federal Efforts Have Reduced Default and Foreclosure Risks

Entrepreneurship During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the Business Formation Statistics

Helping States Make Data-Driven Decisions About Cannabis Legalization: Forecasting Impacts and Assessing Equity in Regulatory Practices


Key Findings from RAND Health Care Research on Telehealth Policy

Improving Health Care through Housing First

Career Effects of Mental Health

July 23, 2021


This report presents statistics on drug and alcohol use among prisoners before they were imprisoned, highlighting differences by demographic characteristics. The report details prisoners’ participation in drug and alcohol treatment programs since admission to prison. Additionally, it describes the percentage of prisoners who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition dependence or abuse criteria for alcohol or drug use disorder. Highlights from the report include that 31% of state prisoners and 25% of federal prisoners reported drinking alcohol at the time of the offense. Nearly 4 in 10 state prisoners (39%) and 3 in 10 federal prisoners (31%) reported using drugs at the time of the offense. Among state prisoners, males (32%) were more likely than females (26%) to report drinking alcohol at the time of the offense, but were less likely (39%) than females (49%) to report using at least one drug at the time of the offense. An estimated 2 in 10 state (21%) and federal (20%) prisoners reported using marijuana at the time of the offense.

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

A total of 681 state and local law enforcement training academies provided basic training instruction to 59,511 recruits in 2018. The average length of the core basic training program was 833 hours. Half of recruits were instructed using a training model with equal parts stress (i.e., military or paramilitary style) and non-stress (i.e., academic or adult learning) environments. Nearly all recruits were instructed in report writing, defensive tactics, firearms skills, and ethics and integrity, and nearly all were instructed using at least one type of reality-based scenario. Half (48%) of full-time instructors employed by law enforcement training academies were sworn officers who were permanently assigned to or employed by the academy. Twenty-five percent of academies required instructors to have a 2-year college degree or higher level of education, and 70% required law enforcement experience. Of recruits who began basic training in 2018, about 19% were female and 81% were male. Sixty-four percent of beginning recruits were white, 14% were black, and 17% were Hispanic in 2018. During basic training, 82% of recruits were trained on identifying and responding to the use of excessive force by other officers. About half of recruits were trained in each of the three types of physical restraint control tactics for use in the field: 46% were trained in hold or neck restraints, 50% in the use of full body restraints, and 48% in leg hobble or other restraints (excluding handcuffs).

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

This report provides official estimates of school crime and safety from a variety of data sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, principals, and post-secondary institutions. Highlights from the report include that in 2019, students ages 12-18 experienced 764,600 victimizations at school and 509,300 victimizations away from school. About 22% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied at school during the school year in 2019, which was lower than the percentage who reported being bullied in 2009 (28%). In 2019, of students ages 12-18, about 9% reported a gang presence at their school during the school year, 7% reported being called hate-related words, and 23% reported seeing hate-related graffiti. Between 2009 and 2019, the percentage of students in grades 9–12 who reported carrying a weapon anywhere during the previous 30 days decreased (from 17% to 13%), as did the percentage of students who reported carrying a weapon on school property (decreased from 6% to 3%). In 2019–20, there were a total of 75 school shootings with casualties, including 27 school shootings with deaths and 48 school shootings with injuries only. In addition, there were 37 reported school shootings with no casualties in 2019–20.

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


The Program for International Student Assessment Young Adult Follow-up Study (PISA YAFS) follows students who participated in PISA 2012 in the United States. The study is designed to measure how performance on PISA 2012 relates to subsequent measures of outcomes and skills of young adults on an online assessment, education and skills online. PISA is administered in the United States every 3 years, and is intended to measure the mathematics, science, and reading literacy skills of students who are approaching the end of compulsory schooling, at approximately age 15 when the majority of these students are in the 10th grade. The second set of data needed for the PISA YAFS study was conducted in 2016, approximately 3.5 years after PISA 2012. Data collected as part of this follow-up study included information related to skill use, career interests, and well-being and health. The data is available as a public use file.

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

This paper monetizes the life-cycle intra-generational and inter-generational benefits of the Perry Preschool Project, a pioneering high-quality early childhood education program implemented before Head Start that targeted disadvantaged African-Americans and was evaluated by a randomized trial. It has the longest follow-up of any experimentally evaluated early childhood education program. The authors follow participants into late midlife as well as their children into adulthood. Impacts on the original participants and their children generate substantial benefits. The authors use long-run measures of intervention outcomes to assess the validity of current, widely used procedures of forecasting life-cycle earnings using cognitive-test scores measured at early ages. The authors find that this approach is flawed for two reasons: 1) Cognitive-test scores are a weak reed to lean on. Many other strongly predictive factors, primarily social and emotional skills, are not used in this approach; and 2) It ignores a myriad of other benefits of early intervention besides earnings.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

What is the social, emotional, and academic impact of attending school remotely rather than in person? The authors address this issue using survey data collected from 6,576 high school students in a large, diverse school district that allowed families to choose either format in fall 2020. Controlling for baseline measures of well-being collected one month before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as demographics, high school students who attended school remotely reported lower levels of social, emotional, and academic well-being than classmates who attended school in person. These differences were consistent across gender, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status subgroups but significantly wider among 10th–12th graders than ninth graders.

Source: American Educational Research Association

Government Operations

Millions of mortgage borrowers continue to experience financial challenges and potential housing instability during the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these concerns, Congress, federal agencies, and the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provided borrowers with options to temporarily suspend their mortgage payments and placed a moratorium on foreclosures. Both provisions begin to expire in the coming months. The CARES Act includes a provision for the authors to monitor federal efforts related to COVID-19. This report examines (1) the extent to which mortgage forbearance may have contributed to housing stability during the pandemic, (2) federal efforts to promote awareness of forbearance among delinquent borrowers, and (3) federal efforts to limit mortgage default and foreclosure risks after federal mortgage forbearance and foreclosure protections expire. The authors found that foreclosures declined significantly during the pandemic because of federal moratoriums that prohibited foreclosures. The number of mortgages entering foreclosure decreased by about 85% on a year-over-year basis from June 2019 to June 2020 and remained as low through February 2021, according to mortgage data provider Black Knight.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Applications for new businesses from the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly and weekly Business Formation Statistics fell substantially in the early stages of the pandemic but then surged in the second half of 2020. This surge has continued through May 2021. The pace of applications since mid-2020 is the highest on record (earliest data available is 2004). The large increase in applications is for both likely new employers and non-employers. These patterns contrast sharply with those in the Great Recession when applications for likely new employer businesses and in turn actual startups of employer businesses declined sharply and persistently. Dominant industries include non-store retail (alone accounting for 33% of the surge), professional, scientific and technical services, truck transportation, and accommodation and food services. Given that existing small businesses in retail trade and accommodation and food services have suffered especially large declines in the pandemic, these patterns are consistent with restructuring induced by the pandemic.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

As more states legalize marijuana for full adult (recreational) use through ballot initiatives or legislation, policymakers and stakeholders are looking to better understand the economic, public health, and public safety impacts of legalization. States legalizing adult-use marijuana also need to decide how to license cannabis businesses in a way that is equitable; many states seek to award licenses to members of communities that have been disproportionately burdened by the criminalization of cannabis. Researchers conducted rigorous mixed-methods analyses of secondary data to help states anticipate the impacts of cannabis legalization. The authors also assessed the relationship between the regulatory environment, such as licensing schemes for cannabis businesses, and diversity among license holders to help states achieve an equitable cannabis market.

Source: Mathematica

Health and Human Services

Although virtual health care has been on the horizon for years, telehealth use exploded in the early days of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic—it increased by more than 4,000% in March 2020 over the previous year, by some measures. Pre-pandemic policies regarding the specifics of telehealth service reimbursement, which had been in place to limit overspending and potential fraud, were temporarily waived to ease access to care during the public health emergency. More recently, telehealth use has leveled off as in-person care has begun to resume. Policymakers and payers must decide which policy waivers should remain in place. About 30% of patients used video telehealth services in the first months of the pandemic, a survey found. This was a marked increase from the 4% of patients surveyed in 2019 who used video telehealth services. Much of this increase was due to patients seeing their own doctors through telehealth. Being able to have virtual visits with their usual providers could affect patients' willingness to participate in telehealth. During the pandemic, using telehealth to help patients and providers maintain access has rightly been a top priority. Concerns about telehealth's effect on health care spending and quality will arise again as policymakers begin to look beyond the pandemic. It is unclear how relevant pre-pandemic studies on cost and quality will be, given how much telehealth delivery models have shifted since March 2020. New studies will especially need to consider the forms of telehealth (such as audio-only visits and video using less-secure platforms) that have caught on during the past year. Policymakers might also want to begin thinking of telehealth less as an either-or proposition (i.e., either telehealth or office visits) and more in terms of how the two modalities can work together in a hybrid format.

Source: RAND Corporation

Housing First is an approach to homelessness that recognizes housing is a platform for improved health and other positive outcomes. In 2016, the City and County of Denver launched the Supportive Housing Social Impact Bond Initiative, a supportive housing program designed to serve a chronically homeless population that frequently cycles in and out of jail. This working paper explores the health care outcomes of Denver’s Housing First approach to permanent supportive housing. Over two years, supportive housing increased office-based care for psychiatric diagnoses (primarily reflecting care provided by the supportive housing providers), decreased emergency department visits, and increased access to prescription medication.

Source: Urban Institute

This paper investigates the career effects of mental health, focusing on depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Individual-level registry data from Denmark show that these disorders carry large earnings penalties, ranging from 34% for depression and 38% percent for bipolar disorder to 74% for schizophrenia. To investigate the causal effects of mental health on a person’s career, the authors exploit the approval of lithium as a maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder in 1976. Baseline estimates compare career outcomes for people with and without access in their 20s, the typical age of onset for bipolar disorder. These estimates show that access to treatment eliminates one third of the earnings penalty associated with bipolar disorder and greatly reduces the risks of low or no earnings. Importantly, access to treatment closes more than half of the disability risk associated with bipolar disorder.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

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