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Implementing the Next Generation of Parole Supervision: Findings from the Changing Attitudes and Motivation in Parolees Pilot Study

Strengthening Community-Based Service Capacity through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative

American Prison-Release Systems: Indeterminacy in Sentencing and the Control of Prison Population Size


Research Evidence on Community College Ask-Connect-Inspire-Plan Onboarding Practices

Building School Communities for Students Living in Deep Poverty


Federal Transit Administration Standards Development Program: Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drug Use in the Public Transit Industry

Transportation Equity for Older Adults

Defining Distress: Lessons from the Federally Chartered Regional Commissions


Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity

Programs for Care System Transitions in Mental Health

Adding an Out-of-Pocket Spending Limit to Traditional Medicare

June 10, 2022


One strategy for addressing persistently high recidivism rates among individuals leaving prison is to incorporate interventions into the parole supervision process. This report presents findings from the Changing Attitudes and Motivation in Parolees (CHAMPS) study, which examined the implementation of a pilot of one parole-based intervention, known as the Next Generation of Parole Supervision (NG), in three sites: Dallas, Denver, and Des Moines. The goal of the NG program is to improve parolee outcomes by providing parole officers with the knowledge and strategies needed for conducting effective regular supervision meetings with parolees. This implementation evaluation used a range of qualitative and quantitative data, including assessments of the knowledge and skills of parole officers trained in NG compared with a second group of officers who continued with parole practices used prior to the introduction of NG. The evaluation found that although there was some variation in policies and practices across sites, parole officers in the CHAMPS sites generally were already familiar with many of the concepts of NG, so changes in officers’ supervision practices were limited. Only in Dallas did NG-trained parole officers engage in practices that were substantially different from those observed among untrained officers. The results in Dallas suggest that coaching may be important in the effective implementation of an intervention that involves changing parole officers’ skills and practices. Changes became more noticeable once coaching was introduced; however, despite coaching for the entire study period in Des Moines and Denver, little change was observed in these cities. Overall, this study indicates that parole officers are amenable to changes to improve supervision practices; however, consistent implementation of changes in policy and practices is challenging.

Source: Office of Justice Programs, NCJRS

Community organizations and service providers can be key partners for addressing public safety challenges and reducing justice system involvement. Thirty-six states have engaged in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, which is data-driven approach to managing criminal justice populations and investing savings in strategies to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. Most states have invested in strategies administered by justice system agencies, including community corrections, in-prison programming, problem-solving courts, and local corrections. However, a subset of states has also made investments to improve community-based capacity to advance prevention and treatment efforts outside of justice system agencies. This report focuses on 10 states’ (Alaska, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Utah) capacity-building strategies to provide and enhance services related to safety and well-being that (1) are available in the community (not in a justice system facility or setting) and (2) operate independently from criminal justice system agencies. The authors identify common themes among these approaches and explore lessons learned from the successes and challenges of JRI community collaborations that can inform similar efforts. These themes include strong and ongoing communication across partnerships, collaborations between government agencies and local organizations can be mutually beneficial but require intentional investment, and that traditional and innovative partnerships can both be productive. The report appendix contains profiles that provide additional details on these states' community capacity-building approaches.

Source: The Urban Institute

Indeterminacy in prison sentences means that the actual time served is unpredictable, as a sentence for a criminal offense is given as a range. When prison sentences are highly indeterminate, many months or years of time-to-be-served can be unforeseeable in individual cases. The mechanics of indeterminacy in prison sentencing vary enormously from state to state, and are not well understood. In many states, time-served policy is largely administered at the back end of the sentencing system. If prison policy is aimed toward retribution or public safety, it is back-end officials who ultimately choose how best to achieve those goals. This raises critical questions of whether they are well-positioned to be stewards of the public interest, and whether their procedures are adequate to the task. In each state, it is important to consider the institutional structure for release decisions, how and by whom time-served discretion is currently being exercised, and the range of possibilities for future changes in existing decision patterns (in both desirable and unwanted directions). The report ranks Florida, along with Arizona, Kansas, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, District of Columbia, and the federal system, as having very low indeterminacy.

Source: Robina Institute, University of Minnesota


Helping students gain early momentum is essential not only for improving student success rates and for closing equity gaps but also for countering declining community college enrollments. To build back enrollments, community colleges need to substantially increase retention as well as recruitment, particularly among students from underserved groups. The Community College Research Center has developed a framework called Ask-Connect-Inspire-Plan (ACIP) for colleges to use to enrich entering students’ experiences in exploring, choosing, and planning a program of study. The ultimate aim of the ACIP framework is to increase retention among students, especially those who are likely to stop out in response to prevailing college practices. This brief describes the motivation, research evidence, and equity implications that underlie the ACIP framework as a useful strategy for colleges. The Community College Research Center’s research on efforts by colleges to redesign onboarding following the guided pathways model, together with other recent research on the experiences of community college students, suggests that colleges can help incoming students make the most out of college through the four ACIP practices: (1) Ask every student about their interests, strengths, aspirations, and life circumstances with the aim of helping them explore programs of study and career paths aligned with their goals; (2) Connect every student with faculty, peers, alumni, and employers in fields of interest to them and to college and community resources that can help support their needs; (3) Inspire students by ensuring that they are able to take at least one well-taught, college-level course on a topic that interests them in their first term; and (4) Develop an individualized education plan for every student that is aligned to jobs and/or fields of interest.

Source: Community College Research Center

Every year the federal government establishes poverty thresholds for families and individuals. Currently, the poverty threshold for a family of four is $27,750. If a family’s annual income is below the poverty threshold, the family is considered to be living in poverty. If a family’s annual income is 50% below the poverty threshold, the family is living in deep poverty. This report suggests three evidence-based strategies that have the capacity to enable educators, in collaboration with the families and the communities they serve, to create learning environments in which students living in deep poverty are supported and successful. These strategies include (1) providing adequate and equitable funding; (2) partnering with community agencies and allocate resources to provide an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and family and community engagement; and (3) developing practices that focus on healthy attachments, understand and address trauma, build on children’s strengths, and access community resources.

Source: Learning Policy Institute

Government Operations

Numerous National Transportation Safety Board accident investigations have indicated prescription/over-the-county (Rx/OTC) medication impairment as a contributor to transportation safety events and associated injuries and fatalities. This report includes background research and analysis on the need for new standards, recommended practices, guidance documents, or procedural considerations in the areas of prescription and over-the-counter medication risk management. Standardization can also improve other Rx/OTC policies and procedures. For example, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) may issue a significant safety soncern based on an employee’s legal use of a prescribed medication that is likely to impact the employee’s ability to perform their job functions safely. When the MRO issues a sedication safety soncern, employees have up to five business days from the date of a verified negative test result to have the prescribing physician contact the MRO to determine if the medication can be changed or if it does not pose a significant safety risk. There is no current federal guidance in place to determine how an employer is required to respond to a MRO safety concern. Gaps that exist in current standards, recommended practices, or guidance documents available to the industry to address Rx/OTC use are identified, and findings are included that address the development or issuance of voluntary standards, protocols, guidelines, or recommended practices related to Rx/OTC risk management and associated topics.

Source: Federal Transit Administration

In the United States, older adults are at particular risk of having unmet transportation needs as individual mobility challenges mount and driving ability declines with age. Furthermore, these risks are occurring in an economic environment of rapid change in transportation technology and in a societal environment that does not always support or prioritize older-adult mobility. This report provides an overview of — and weighs solutions to — the equity concerns surrounding older-adult transportation. Next, a framework is presented for communities to explore and assess how well they are serving the transportation needs of older adults as a population and specific older-adult subpopulations. Last, ideas for future exploration and action are presented, such as door-to-door ride hailing assistance, older-adult accessible automated vehicles, and public transit ambassadors.

Source: RAND Corporation

Federally chartered regional commissions were established with the purpose of reducing economic distress, primarily in rural areas. For each of the three active federally chartered regional commissions that serve more than one state—the Appalachian Regional Commission, Delta Regional Authority, and Northern Border Regional Commission—the authorizing legislation explicitly requires the commission to assess annually which places within their service area can be classified as distressed, and to spend at least half, but often more, of their grant resources in those places. Given the large proportion of rural places in their coverage areas, the use of distress by the commissions offers insights and lessons for reaching vulnerable rural communities. However, while this terminology is used liberally in federal statutes and regulations, no common definition of economic distress exists. To examine the implications for rural development of defining distress in different ways, this analysis draws upon the various regional commission definitions, as well as others used by federal agencies, to analyze the tradeoffs and impacts of different approaches and offer insights into the ability of vulnerable communities to access critical federal funding. The authors propose three considerations to help refine the meaning and use of distress and improve the effectiveness of rural policy including developing a normative framework for defining distress, improving transparency about the specific communities receiving funds, and engaging potential recipients to learn from their experiences with differing distress definitions.

Source: Brookings

Health and Human Services

With unprecedented global aging, societies must undertake all-of-society efforts to maximize the benefits and minimize the burdens of aging populations. This report describes a realistic vision of healthy longevity that could be achieved by 2050. The vision includes full inclusion of people of all ages, regardless of health or functional status, in all aspects of society and societies characterized by social cohesion and equity. To achieve the vision, the report recommends changes that need to be made to health systems, social infrastructure, physical environments, education, work, and retirement. In some cases, the recommended changes benefit older people most directly, such as increasing older-adult workforce participation, and educational opportunities that promote lifelong learning, but when older people thrive, people of all ages benefit. As life spans increase over time and older adults make up a larger proportion of the population than they have in the past, societies have the opportunity to reap gains if good health is maintained for more of the years of life than has thus far been the case. If taken up, the recommendations of this report can support individuals of all ages in all corners of the globe to live long, meaningful, and purpose-driven lives by 2050.

Source: National Academies

Although transitions between health care systems are common when patients move between jobs or insurers, they are especially difficult to navigate when patients with mental health conditions leave an integrated system, such as the Military Health System (MHS). The authors synthesize evidence from studies of interventions that facilitate transitions between mental health care systems, such as the transition from the MHS to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The authors searched multiple research databases, reference-mined bibliographies of existing reviews, and consulted with experts to identify existing evaluations of transition support interventions. Seventeen studies evaluating different approaches met inclusion criteria. Studies reported on different outcomes, and few could be combined in aggregated analyses. Analyses showed that care transition interventions can increase outpatient mental health service use, but the overall body of evidence is limited. The authors found no consistent effects of care transition interventions across studies and outcomes, but interventions may increase outpatient mental health service use. The authors note that additional research on interventions for care transitions among patients with mental health conditions is needed.

Source: RAND Corporation

Medicare beneficiaries can receive services through traditional Medicare (TM) or through Medicare Advantage (MA), in which private plans contract with Medicare to provide covered services. Unlike in most commercial plans, including MA, TM lacks a cap on out-of-pocket spending. This brief analyzes the implications of introducing a $5,000 spending cap on overall spending by TM enrollees and Medicare, beneficiary out-of-pocket, supplementary coverage plan, and Medicaid spending. The authors estimate that in 2023, about 4.5 million TM enrollees will incur more than $5,000 in cost-sharing expenses. These enrollees average about $10,500 in cost-sharing expenses (paid by Medicaid, by supplementary plans, and out of pocket by beneficiaries), and thus a $5,000 cap is expected to reduce per capita cost-sharing payments by about $5,500. The $5,000 cap would reduce these beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket expenses by about $1,300. The spending cap is estimated to reduce total supplementary plan spending by $12.3 billion and could apply downward pressure on Medigap premiums, potentially benefitting many enrollees with existing Medigap coverage and others currently unable to afford it. Finally, the spending cap would increase Medicare spending by about $39 billion in 2023 and would likely require an increase in Parts B and D premiums to help finance the new policy.

Source: Urban Institute

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