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Explainer: Building Effective Partnerships with Continuums of Care to Increase Housing Options for People Leaving Prisons and Jails

Diversion Programs, Explained

In Focus: Child Protection: Dependency Courts


Use of Supports Among Students with Disabilities and Special Needs in College

Research and Policy Implications of STEAM Education for Young Students

Using Multiple Metrics to Strengthen Institutional Accountability


Superhuman Science: How Artificial Intelligence May Impact Innovation

Building Connective Tissue for Effective Housing-Health Initiatives

U.S. Department of Defense Animal Use: Objectives and Performance Measures Needed to Monitor Use of Alternatives for Trauma Training


Interactive Biannual Early Release Estimates from the January 2019 to December 2021 National Health Interview Survey

Burnout: Definition, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Prevention, and Interventions Literature Reviews

Alcohol-Related Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 6, 2022


This paper answers four frequently asked questions about building effective partnerships in a community’s Continuum of Care (COC), an entity that can include a partnership with the criminal justice system in developing local homeless and housing assistance systems that address the housing need of persons reentering communities after incarceration. The first issue addressed pertains to the features and purpose of a CoC. A CoC is a local planning entity that receives funding and supportive services from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the specific purpose of providing housing assistance for homeless people. Continuums of Care are led by a board that typically is composed of representatives from housing and homeless service agencies, behavioral health providers, government officials, and other key community partners. The second issue addressed is how a CoC prioritizes people for housing assistance. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that CoCs develop and maintain a coordinated entry system, which is a community-wide infrastructure that governs access to all homeless assistance resources under the CoC’s jurisdiction. The main function of this system is to provide a standardized intake and assessment process for evaluating housing and service needs for community members. This involves the development and use of uniform written standards for prioritizing people for housing assistance. The third issue addressed is how criminal justice leaders can develop or strengthen a partnership with their community’s CoC. This partnership should be based in the recognition of the significant overlap in the populations served by the criminal justice system and the CoC. The fourth issue addressed in this paper is how communities have built effective CoC and criminal justice system partnerships. Case studies are provided to show how this has been done in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and Albany, New York.

Source: Office of Justice Programs

Diversion is a broad term referring to exit ramps that move people away from the criminal legal system, offering an alternative to arrest, prosecution, and a life behind bars. Diversion programs target the underlying problems that led to the criminalized behavior in the first place. By addressing the root causes of community instability—challenges such as food and housing insecurity, joblessness, lack of educational resources, and unmet mental health needs—diversion programs not only help improve long-term community safety and reduce crime but have also proven to be cost-efficient. Diversions programs examined in this report include 1) pre-police encounter diversion; 2) pre-arrest diversion; 3) pre-charge diversion; and 4) pre-trail diversion.

Source: Vera Institute of Justice

This fact sheet outlines programs, training, and funding to ensure that dependency court personnel have the skills to address the complex needs of children and their families who come before the court. The federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) aims to provide youth with access to well-trained volunteer advocates who represent their best interests. Judges and court personnel are uniquely positioned to identify and help children who have been abused, neglected, or exploited as well as those who are at risk of victimization. Juvenile and family courts play a critical role in preventing victimization and working to achieve safe, stable, and permanent homes for children. Between Fiscal Years 2019 and 2021, OJJDP awarded $1.7 million to improve the judicial system’s handling of child maltreatment cases.

Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


This report uses data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, a national study of more than 23,000 ninth-graders in 2009. Students answered surveys between 2009 and 2016. This report investigates whether students informed colleges of their disabilities or special needs and who received accommodations for them. It also describes whether students used academic support services, sought help, or enrolled in remedial courses during college. Students with disabilities in high school do not always tell their college about their disability. Some reasons may be a desire for independence or views of the helpfulness of services based on type of disability. Other reasons may be poor knowledge of services or bad experiences with staff or teachers. Some college students with disabilities may not use supports that could help them graduate. Sixty-five percent of students who ever had a reported disability in earlier years responded that the disability was not present in college. Among students who responded that they did have a disability while attending college, about one-third of students (37%) informed their college. Among students with disabilities who enrolled in college, 69% went to 4-year colleges and 28% went to 2-year colleges. At both types of colleges, between 12% and 13% of students informed their college of current disabilities. However, students at 4-year colleges reported receiving accommodations at a higher rate (85%) than students at 2-year colleges (57%).

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

Quality STEM instruction (science, technology, engineering and math) is key to bolstering economic and global competitiveness, but research shows that the nation’s STEM workforce is lacking in qualified applicants. STEAM education — which adds the “A” for arts — can promote a more comprehensive approach and provide state policymakers with additional policy levers. Based on research, arts integration in the PK-5 grades has proven benefits for student performance in several content areas and skills, including engineering, literacy and reading, numeracy and math, writing, vocabulary development, as well as the arts (dance, music, theatre and visual arts). Arts integration appears to have a positive impact on cognitive functioning and several related subskills. Studies demonstrated positive effects on creativity, engagement, executive functioning, innovation, interest, language, spatial thinking, and auditory and sensorimotor skills. Researchers also documented improvements in critical thinking skills. Policy considerations for state educational leaders include 1) map out the state’s current landscape related to PK-5 STEAM education; 2) identify barriers and opportunities for effective STEAM education implementation; 3) ensure PK-5 teachers receive high quality professional development in STEAM education; 4) use a targeted approach for funding professional development in low-performing districts and schools; 5) consider the use of formative assessments to evaluate student learning; and 6) partner with community artists and businesses to provide STEAM enrichment opportunities.

Source: Education Commission of the States

This report sets out principles for developing an accountability system for postsecondary institutions to improve outcomes for students, protecting both them and the investments taxpayers make in their education. The authors propose a system based on multiple metrics that requires institutions to pass three out of four thresholds, which diminishes the risk of institutions manipulating their outcomes and requires satisfactory performance in more than one area, while allowing flexibility for differing programs, missions, and circumstances. These proposed metrics would be based on the following: Share of students defaulting; share of total debt repaid; completion rate; and post-college earnings. The outcomes the authors document in this report indicate that even if institutions implement effective accountability standards that steer students away from the institutions with the weakest outcomes, much work will remain to ensure students achieve their educational goals. In addition to eliminating programs and institutions that fail the standards, setting specific standards for outcomes should provide incentives for improved performance. Highlighting outcomes on the proposed metrics should also inspire policymakers and educators to redouble efforts to provide institutions and students the resources and strategies required to support student success.

Source: Urban Institute

Government Operations

New product innovation in fields like drug discovery and material science can be characterized as combinatorial search over a vast range of possibilities. Modeling innovation as a costly multi-stage search process, the authors explore how improvements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) could affect the productivity of the discovery pipeline in allowing improved prioritization of innovations that flow through that pipeline. The authors show how AI-aided prediction can increase the expected value of innovation and can increase or decrease the demand for downstream testing, depending on the type of innovation, and examine how AI can reduce costs associated with well-defined bottlenecks in the discovery pipeline. Finally, the authors discuss the critical role that policy can play to mitigate potential market failures associated with access to and provision of data as well as the provision of training necessary to more closely approach the socially optimal level of productivity enhancing innovations enabled by this technology. Policies that either regulate or incentivize the sharing of privately held data may yield significant social welfare dividends under conditions where those data enable the development of AI models that support productivity enhancing innovations. And there may be path dependency associated with the location of market leaders in markets that become highly dependent on AI for innovation, such as drug discovery and material science.

Source: Brookings Institution

The housing and health sectors are natural partners to tackle a range of issues, including ending homelessness, helping older adults age in place, and improving health in under-resourced communities. Partnerships don’t just happen, however. They need connective tissue—an infrastructure supporting frequent and systemic level collaborations—to help form the partnership and hold it together over time. Challenges such as COVID-19, homelessness and housing instability, and even climate change will require cross-sector solutions. Despite progress, the health and housing sectors remain at the elementary stages of developing the connective tissue that can facilitate such collaboration. As we learn more about the nature of this connective tissue, it is clear that concrete steps at the federal, state, and local levels are needed to encourage these sectors to work together to improve equity and effectiveness. The keys to success for developing connective tissue include 1) clearly defined goals that align priorities between sectors and include both the short- and long-term objectives of the collaboration; 2) engagement and network development between sectors -- partners working together will create significant scale and work effectively together to change their systems most commonly when they have long-standing trust and an experience in collaboration; 3) activities that build networks between sectors; 4) shared data systems; and 5) budget transparency and coordination.

Source: Brookings Institution

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) uses live animals to train military personnel to treat battlefield injuries. Department guidance states that alternatives will be considered and used whenever possible, if such methods produce scientifically or educationally valid or equivalent results. When animals are used, they are anesthetized to minimize pain or distress. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that DOD has made efforts to consider alternatives such as training videos, mannequins, and cadavers for trauma training. However, DOD has not established measurable objectives and performance measures to track progress in reducing animal use for combat trauma training. The GAO recommends that DOD develop measurable objectives, develop and use performance measures, and clarify guidance pertaining to DOD efforts to refine, reduce, and replace the use of animals in trauma training.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Health and Human Services

The Interactive Biannual Early Release Estimates provide health statistics based on data from the 2019-2021 National Health Interview Survey for selected health topics for adults aged 18 years and over. All estimates are unadjusted percentages based on preliminary data files and are released prior to final data editing and final weighting to provide access to the most recent information from the survey. Estimates can be grouped by demographic characteristics (such as age, race and Hispanic origin, or sex). Users may select a topic of interest, the data view (multiple half years or single half year), the time period, and grouping variables. Provided topics of interest include six or more workdays missed due to health in the past 12 months, regularly experienced chronic pain, dental exam or cleaning in the past 12 months, hospital emergency department visit in the past 12 months, adults who did not get needed mental health care due to cost, adults uninsured at the time of interview, and current cigarette smoking.

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

The provision of mental health treatment is affected by the strength, health, and well-being of the health care workforce. Health care provider burnout—defined as chronic occupational-related stress, emotional exhaustion, disengagement, depersonalization, anhedonia, and hopelessness—poses a critical threat to mental and behavioral health care. This series of literature reviews addresses several aspects of burnout. Of over 14,000 screened citations, 469 studies met inclusion criteria. The authors document what is known about the concept of burnout, show burnout prevalence in health care facilities, evaluate the presence and absence of evidence for suggested risk factors of burnout, outline approaches for addressing burnout among military health care providers, and provide an overview of organizational interventions that have been suggested to prevent or mitigate workforce burnout. The authors find that the definition of burnout remains consistent, but there is wide variance in the prevalence estimates of burnout among U.S.-based health care providers. Additionally, the authors find that workplace factors, such as workload and perceived support from leadership, were associated with risk for burnout, but that factors such as exercise and social support appear to have a protective effect.

Source: RAND Corporation

Research suggests that alcohol consumption and related harms increased during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies reported increases in drinking to cope with stress, transplants for alcohol-associated liver disease, and emergency department visits for alcohol withdrawal. The authors examined mortality data to assess whether alcohol-related deaths increased during the pandemic as well. Using U.S. mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics the authors compared numbers and rates of alcohol-related and all-cause deaths among all individuals 16 years or older in 2019 and 2020. Deaths were identified as alcohol-related if an alcohol-induced cause was listed as an underlying or contributing cause. The results indicated that the number of deaths involving alcohol increased between 2019 and 2020 (from 78,927 to 99,017; a relative change of 26%), as did the age-adjusted rate (from 27.3 to 34.4 per 100,000; a relative change of 26%). Additionally, rates increased for all age groups, with the largest increases occurring for people aged 35 to 44 years (from 22.9 to 32.0 per 100,000; 40%) and 25 to 34 years (from 11.8 to 16.1 per 100,000; 37%).

Source: JAMA Network

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