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Drug Courts

Indicators of Workplace Violence, 2019

Community Problem Solving in Criminal Justice: Breaking Barriers through Service-Learning


Community College Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Pathways

How Student Debt Harms Black Borrowers’ Mental Health

Participation in Math Corps Increases College Enrollment


Technologies for Primary Screening in Aviation Security

Working Age White Americans Exited Large Cities in Far Higher Numbers than Any Other Group in 2021

National and State Trends in Autistic Adult Supplemental Security Income Awardees: 2005–2019


Healthy Eating: Government-Wide Solutions for Promoting Healthy Diets, Food Safety, and Food Security

2020 Triennial Process Evaluation Report of the Projects For Assistance In Transition From Homelessness Program (PATH)

Urban–Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, 2020

July 29, 2022


Drug courts are specialized court-docket programs that target defendants and offenders (adults and juveniles), as well as parents with pending child welfare cases who have alcohol and other drug dependency problems. Although the features of drug courts vary according to the population served, as well as the resources allocated, programs are generally managed by a multidisciplinary team that includes judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, community corrections, social workers, and treatment service professionals. This two-page flyer provides an overview of drug court and other problem solving court program models and available guidance. The document is updated regularly with information on program and research resources supported by Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and National Institute of Justice, with hyperlinks to current training and technical assistance providers and relevant documents.

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

This report presents the most recent data on fatal and nonfatal workplace violence and is produced jointly by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The report provides data on 13 indicators of workplace violence, which include characteristics of workplace homicides, characteristics of nonfatal workplace violence, nonfatal injuries due to workplace violence treated in emergency departments, and nonfatal injuries due to workplace violence resulting in days off work. An annual average of 1.3 million nonfatal workplace violent victimizations occurred during the combined 5 years from 2015 to 2019. This represents a rate of 8.0 nonfatal violent crimes per 1,000 workers age 16 or older. During 2015 to 2019, male offenders committed the majority of nonfatal workplace violence (64%). Strangers committed about half (47%) of nonfatal workplace violence, with male victims less likely than female victims to know the offender. The offender was unarmed in 78% of nonfatal workplace violence, and the victim sustained an injury in 12%.

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

Service-learning provides meaningful community engagement for students and assists in linking theory with practice. Service-learning enhances the learning process by requiring students to apply important concepts to real world issues in a manner that positively impacts a targeted community. Often, law enforcement officers are hesitant to work with undergraduate students, or policy may prohibit collaborative relationships with students due to liability or safety concerns. This article provides information regarding the planning, execution and outcomes of an undergraduate service-learning project conducted in a law enforcement class. A model of best practices is discussed as well as benefits to students, the university, law enforcement and community members. In a cursory comparison of students who participated in the project with former classes that did not, the service-learning students obtained a better understanding of key concepts about law enforcement and community relations.

Source: Journal of Service-Learning in Higher Education


Increasing the number of college students who earn STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) credentials and enter STEM careers remains a national priority, as does the need to diversify the population of STEM workers by race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic background. Postsecondary STEM credentials lead to some of the highest paying jobs in the labor market. This policy fact sheet presents what the research tells us about STEM students in community colleges, noting that among students who started in a community college in fall 2010 and earned a bachelor’s degree within six years, only 14% earned that degree in a STEM field. The fact sheet also proves key considerations for federal policy including reforming developmental math to increase the number of students who complete introductory college-level math courses and establishing a single definition of STEM to guide federal policymaking and research and support the better monitoring of STEM program enrollments and completions across institutions.

Source: Community College Resource Center

Approximately 45 million Americans carry $1.7 trillion in student loan debt, but the financial challenges facing Black borrowers are numerous. Black students are more likely to borrow, borrow more, and are more likely to struggle with repayment than their peers, because they collectively have fewer resources due to the generational and ongoing effects of structural racism. This debt burden has far-reaching financial consequences, and research also shows that student debt contributes to poor mental health. In fact, the toll of student debt on people’s mental health can be just as devastating as the financial harm it can cause. Drawing on survey responses from the National Black Student Debt Study, this brief describes how student debt has affected Black borrowers financially and mentally—with 64% of survey participants reporting that student debt negatively impacted their mental health. Policy recommendations include canceling at least $50,000 of federal student debt per borrower, making improvements to income-driven repayment plans, reducing negative amortization, ensuring reliable loan servicing, and shortening the time-to-forgiveness window.

Source: The Education Trust

Math Corps is a summer camp for middle school students who could benefit from mentoring and positive influences. The primary goal of the camp was to support the emotional and social needs of the students in Detroit; accordingly, the educators leveraged their backgrounds as math teachers to create an intensive summer program that provides not only that emotional and social support, but also high-quality math instruction. In 2015, the National Science Foundation awarded Wayne State University an Advancing Informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Learning grant. As part of the grant, Mathematica conducted an independent study of Math Corps using a quasi-experimental retrospective analysis focusing on long-term outcomes for students who attended Math Corps from 2004 to 2009. This brief presents the results of those analyses, which provide rigorous evidence of the impact of the Math Corps summer program on college enrollment, degree completion, and encounters with the criminal justice system. Findings include Math Corps students had higher graduation rates than Detroit Public Schools, that Math Corps had a statistically significant impact on college enrollment, and that few participants had encounters with the criminal justice system.

Source: Mathematica

Government Operations

In this article, the authors examine technologies currently in use and emerging technologies that have potential for use in the primary screening of carry-on baggage, checked baggage, and air cargo. The article begins by surveying the trend followed by terrorist attacks and attack attempts on civil aviation in the 20th and 21st centuries. In the most recent trend, malicious agents have attempted, successfully or unsuccessfully, to smuggle explosive materials into both types of baggage and cargo. Thus, current screening systems focus on the detection of these threats and in helping operators in preventing that these threats be carried or loaded into aircraft. The main body of the paper consists of an examination of screening technologies that can raise an automated alarm if a suspicious item such as a potential explosive or explosive precursor is present in baggage or cargo. Security organizations around the world install and maintain primary screening systems, capable of raising automated alarms when potential explosives or explosive precursors are detected in baggage or cargo. Secondary screening is used to resolve these alarms and is typically performed by human operators, aided by explosive trace detectors, bottle liquid scanners and other instruments. Primary screening systems are mainly based on X-ray imaging technology and Computed Tomography (CT), both of which have heavily leveraged technological advances driven by the much larger medical imaging market. The authors find that several emerging technologies are promising for improving primary screening. These are X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Phase Contrast (PC) and Differential PC (DPC), Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR), and Neutron Scanning. The authors note that even if a particular technology may not become the basis for a primary screener, it can still provide the means to automatically resolve alarms generated by the primary screener.

Source: RAND Corporation

The exodus of Americans from large urban areas during the pandemic has been well-documented. Remote work, pandemic specific factors, and the deepening of an underlying trend all spread population from large urban areas to less dense, less expensive parts of the country. Recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that urban exodus was driven by prime working age people, meaning that the labor markets in large urban areas have taken a hit. In addition, the data shows that while the overall trends generally were consistent across race, outmigration was strongest among whites. Accelerated by the pandemic, this trend may in the long-term lead to a new geography of spatial segregation. In this analysis, the authors utilize the newly released Census data to understand how different groups and different places have been affected by pandemic migration. Only 12 % of large urban counties saw a year-over-year increase in their white population in 2021 compared to 59% in 2011 and 37% in 2019. Gains in prime age workers were concentrated in the Mountain West with one-fifth of the national increase in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah alone.

Source: Economic Innovation Group

This paper used federal Social Security Administration program data from 2005 to 2019 to examine national- and state-level changes in the number of new adult supplemental security income (SSI) awardees on the autism spectrum relative to awardees with intellectual disability and other mental health disorders. The authors identified three main findings: the number of autistic awards increased between 2005 and 2019 when awards for all other mental health disorders declined; roughly nine out of every 10 autistic adult awardees were between ages 18–25 years; there was variation in the growth of autistic awards across states. These findings support the need to consider geographic and age differences in SSI program participation among autistic adults and determine the underlying causes.

Source: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Health and Human Services

Each year, millions of people in the U.S. die from diet-related chronic health conditions, get sick from foodborne illnesses, or go hungry. Mortality rates and hunger related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as recent incidents of food contamination, have underscored and exacerbated health risks related to food. The federal government has not developed strategies for addressing diet, food safety, or food security issues during emergencies. In this brief, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) notes that strategies are needed to address diet-related chronic health conditions, improve federal oversight of food safety, and to respond to food insecurity emergencies. The brief also provides GAO recommendations for a government-wide approach to addressing these widespread and often preventable food-related challenges, which include directing a federal entity to lead a strategy on diet-related efforts, addressing the fragmented federal food safety oversight system, and updating plans for nutrition assistance programs to respond to emergencies.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program was created to reduce or eliminate homelessness and imminent risk of homelessness for individuals with serious mental illness or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. Program funds are to be used to provide services such as street outreach, case management and services that are not supported by mainstream mental health programs, and all grantees are required to provide a match of at least $1 for every $3 in federal funding. The 2020 Triennial Process Evaluation Report looks at PATH program data from 2016, 2017, and 2018 to ensure that the services provided were appropriate and well-administered by the grantees. PATH is administered by the Division of State and Community Systems Development of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and the evaluation was conducted by the Center for Behavioral Health Services and Quality’s Office of Evaluation. Through the PATH program, grantees offer funding to provider organizations with over half (53%) of grantees providing funds to community mental health centers followed by social service agencies (14%), shelters or housing agencies (9%), health care for the homeless agencies (2%), substance use treatment agencies and consumer-run mental health agencies each accounted for 1% and other types of agencies accounted for 20% of provider organizations. In 2018, a total of 466 PATH providers received grant funds. The report finds that the PATH program has had considerable success serving individuals with mental or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. Furthermore, the report finds that services offered through the PATH program are appropriate and well-administered.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Drug overdose death rates, which have been rising over the past decade, differ by urban and rural counties across the United States. A previous report demonstrated higher drug overdose death rates in urban counties by various demographic and geographic characteristics. This report uses the most recent final mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to describe urban and rural differences in drug overdose death rates in 2020 by sex, race and Hispanic origin, and selected types of opioids and stimulants. This report found that in 2020, the overall rate for drug overdose deaths was higher in urban counties (28.6 per 100,000 standard population) than in rural counties (26.2). In both urban and rural counties, overdose rates for males were about twice as high as for females. Additionally, Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) people had the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in urban and rural counties, at 44.3 per 100,000 and 39.8, respectively.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics

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