Enhancing Response to Victims: A Formative Evaluation of the Office for Victims of Crime Law Enforcement-Based Victim Services Program: Summary Results From Phase One of the Formative Evaluation

The Cost of Recidivism: The High Price States Pay to Incarcerate People for Supervision Violations

Transforming Prisons through Research: An Agenda for Sweeping Reform


2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress Civics Assessment: Civics Score Declines For the First Time; Score Unchanged Compared to 1998

Possible Ways of Increasing College Access Among Adults from Underserved Backgrounds: A Study of College Transition Text-Based Messaging

Principal Perspectives on School Staffing Struggles


Congressional Apportionment: 2020 Census Brief

Local and National Concentration Trends in Jobs and Sales: The Role of Structural Transformation

Creating a Gold-Standard National Occupational Standards Development System


Estimates of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Fentanyl, Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin, and Oxycodone: United States, 2021

Health Conditions and Health Care Use Among American Indian and Alaska Native Adults by Tribal Land Residential Status: United States, 2019–2021

Barriers and Facilitators to Home- and Community-Based Services Access for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers

May 12, 2023


The authors of this document report on phase one of the Formation Evaluation of the Law Enforcement-Based Victim (LEV) Services Program, which was developed by the federal Office for Victims of Crime in response to the need to expand and enhance law enforcement responses to crime victims. The authors lay out the reasons and approach to the formative evaluation; LEV program inventory, aimed at helping agencies implement law enforcement-based victim services programs; typology of LEV programs, noting three key programmatic characteristics of agency size, program type, and supervisor type; and next steps. The authors also provide data tables that give a comprehensive overview of the evaluation survey results and will inform phase two of the evaluation. These tables provide information such as community characteristics where LEV programs are located; characteristics of the LEV programs, such as agency size, incorporation of LEV personnel within specialized units, locations where LEV personnel provide services to victims, and the agency’s progress toward implementing the intended components/activities of their LEV program;; types of training provided to LEV personnel; and LEV documentation practices.

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

The Council of State Governments Justice Center analyzed data provided by Departments of Corrections from 41 states to estimate the cost of incarcerating people for supervision violations and revocations in 2021. Data included fixed and variable expenses, such as maintenance, staffing, food, supplies, and health care services. Over $8 billion was spent across 41 states to incarcerate 193,000 people for supervision violations and revocations. Florida spent an estimated $313,267,794. Adjusting for the size of each state’s population, the cost of recidivism exceeded $40 per resident in 10 states, with Wisconsin spending the most at $72 per resident.

Source: The Council of State Governments Justice Center

This research agenda is a starting point for building a foundational knowledge base that moves past decades-old prison research grounded in traditional notions of confinement within a security-and control paradigm. Instead, it underscores the importance of leveraging research and data to promote transparency and accountability in carceral systems, and to do so through a racial equity lens. The goal of this agenda is to encourage researchers to pursue groundbreaking inquiry that will ultimately transform prisons into safer, more humane, rehabilitative, and more equitable environments. It begins by setting forth guiding principles and then presents concrete strategies for advancing transformative change in U.S. prisons, reducing racial inequity, improving metrics of well-being, advancing transparency and accountability, and more broadly promoting human dignity in carceral settings.

Source: Urban Institute


In 2022, the average civics score at eighth grade decreased by 2 points compared to 2018. The average score in 2022 was not significantly different from 1998, the first year the assessment was given. The average score is reported on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) civics scale, which ranges from 0 to 300. In 2022, the percentage of students who performed below the NAEP Basic level increased by 3 percentage points. Eighth-grade students performing at the NAEP Basic level should be able to define government, constitution, the rule of law, and politics. There was no significant change in the percentages of students who performed at NAEP Basic, NAEP Proficient, and NAEP Advanced compared to 1998. NAEP Proficient students should be able to discuss ways that citizens can use the political process to influence government and NAEP Advanced students should be able to recognize the impact of American democracy on other countries, as well as other countries' impact on American politics and society. Forty-nine percent of eighth-grade students report taking a class mainly focused on civics in grade 8. Twenty-nine percent of eighth-grade students have teachers whose primary responsibility is teaching civics. More higher-performing students see themselves able to make a difference in their community and believe their civics schoolwork helps them understand what is happening in the world. And higher-performing students are more confident in their ability to explain why it is important to pay attention to and participate in the political process.

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

For adults with low incomes and potential first-generation college-goers, enrolling in college can be challenging. The U.S. Department of Education-funded Educational Opportunity Centers (EOCs) provide supports to help navigate some of the barriers to enrollment, including assistance with completing college and financial aid application processes, academic advising, and personal counseling. This study tested a text messaging program provided as a supplement to EOCs' typical services. The program included a set of personalized, automated text messages focused on how to secure financial aid, complete key college enrollment steps, and navigate other potential barriers to college entry. Clients from 18 EOCs were randomly assigned to receive the text messages in addition to typical EOC services or to receive typical EOC services only. The study compared the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion and college enrollment rates of these two groups to determine the effectiveness of the messaging program. This study found that although many clients completed important college-going tasks such as applying to college and submitting the FAFSA, 4 out of every 10 clients did not enroll in college. These clients may face complex barriers to enrollment that cannot be addressed by low-touch text outreach alone, suggesting the need for further inquiry into the challenges to college enrollment faced by the EOC client population.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

In this report, principals in public schools point to a lack of substitute teachers and qualified applicants as barriers to sufficient classroom staffing coverage during the 2022 omicron variant spike. Hiring struggles reportedly worsened for most principals year over year, driven by a lack of qualified applicants. When hiring, principals said they valued teachers whose mindsets aligned to their school culture over other qualifications. Policymakers, educators, and media should exercise caution when discussing teacher shortages, because the situation is not monolithic. Challenges in filling teaching positions are not universal and differ by geography and school characteristics. Districts should carefully inspect how substitute teachers are allocated across schools and revisit efforts to attract and retain substitute teachers. Substitute teachers are not a postscript in current discussions of teacher shortages. Principals see a lack of substitute teachers as a key driver of their staffing struggles. Districts should consider what they can do to recruit, hire, and retain teachers of color. Some suggested avenues for improving diversity across schools include increased pay and loan forgiveness opportunities, organizational changes in hiring practices, and preservice and in-service training for principals. States should revisit teacher qualification requirements. As many states have been reducing the qualifications required to teach, one reason surveyed principals struggled to hire teachers is because they did not think the available applicants were qualified to be in their classrooms.

Source: RAND Corporation


The Constitutional basis for conducting the decennial census of population is to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives. Apportionment is the process of distributing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states. With the exception of the 1920 Census, an apportionment has been made by the Congress on the basis of each decennial census from 1790 to 2020. The apportionment population for 2020 consists of the resident population of the 50 states plus overseas federal employees (military and civilian) and their dependents living with them, who were included in their home states. The resident population counts for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Island Areas are not included in apportionment calculations because they do not have any voting seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 2020 Census apportionment population was 331,108,434. This was a 21,924,971 (7.1%) increase since the 2010 Census. The resident population of the 50 states was 330,759,736, a 22,615,921 (7.3%) increase since 2010; the overseas population was 348,698. The four most populous states (California, Texas, Florida, and New York, respectively) each had a 2020 Census apportionment population over 20 million, and each was allocated more than 25 House seats. Together, these four states received about one-third of all House seats since the 1990 Census. Meanwhile, according to the 2020 Census, the six least populous states (Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, respectively) each had an apportionment population under 1 million and were allocated only one seat each.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau

This paper uses near-population establishment micro data from the Economic Census from 1992 through 2017 to examine trends in local concentration in the United States and compare these trends to their national-level counterparts. National industrial concentration in the U.S. has risen sharply since the early 1980s, but there remains dispute over whether local geographic concentration has followed a similar trend. This paper documents that the Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI), a measure of market concentration, for local employment concentration, measured at the county-by-NAICS(North American Industry Classification System), six-digit industry-cell level, fell between 1992 and 2017 even as local sales concentration rose. The divergence between national and local employment concentration trends is attributable to the structural transformation of U.S. economic activity: both sales and employment concentration rose within industry-by-county cells; but reallocation of sales and employment from relatively concentrated manufacturing industries (e.g., steel mills) towards relatively un-concentrated service industries (e.g. hair salons) reduced local concentration. A stronger between-sector shift in employment relative to sales drove the net fall in local employment concentration. Holding industry employment shares at their 1992 level, average local employment concentration would have risen by about 9% by 2017. Instead, it fell by 5%. The authors note that falling local employment concentration may intensify competition for recent market entrants. Simultaneously, rising within industry-by-geography concentration may weaken competition for incumbent workers who have limited sectoral mobility.

Source: Blueprint Labs

This brief describes the current landscape of apprenticeship standards and Urban Institute’s work with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to produce National Occupational Frameworks in a variety of growing occupations and sectors, which will become the foundation for a gold-standard occupational standards development system through the Registered Apprenticeship Occupations and Standards Center of Excellence. Registered apprenticeship offers an opportunity for employers to hire, train, and retain a skilled workforce, and workers to earn income while they learn. But the complexities of the American apprenticeship system deter many potential sponsors from creating or registering programs. While many other countries use a centralized system for creating apprenticeship standards, the U.S. allows individual employers or groups of employers to create their own standards to gain approval as a registered program. Because every employer has to start from scratch and use valuable resources to develop an apprenticeship program, this process creates barriers and prevents apprenticeship programs from scaling nationally. To address this, the DOL and Urban Institute are creating 80 National Occupational Frameworks over four years that will be widely available and free to any organization looking to register an apprenticeship program in that occupation. To date, 43 frameworks have been created for apprenticeable occupations across a variety of sectors, including advanced manufacturing, business services, education, energy, finance and insurance, health care, hospitality, information technology, and transportation. These frameworks include a work schedule as well as background information about the occupation, information on how to use the work process schedule, and an outline of the courses and certificates that can be used to develop the apprenticeship program’s required related technical instruction.

Source: Urban Institute


Using literal text from the National Vital Statistics System, this report provides national drug overdose death rates involving fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and oxycodone by sex, age, race and Hispanic origin, and public health region. This report found that from 2016 through 2021, age-adjusted drug overdose death rates involving fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine increased, while drug overdose death rates involving oxycodone decreased. In 2021, the age-adjusted death rates for males were higher than the rates for females for all drugs analyzed. Among those aged 25-64, the highest rate of drug overdose deaths involved fentanyl; although a similar pattern was observed among those aged 0-24 years and 65 and over, no significant differences were observed between the rates. Fentanyl was also the most frequent opioid or stimulant drug involved in drug overdose deaths for the race and Hispanic-origin groups analyzed.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics

This report presents estimates for selected health conditions and health care use among American Indian and Alaska Native adults by tribal land residential status. In 2019–2021, the percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native adults who ever had diagnosed diabetes was significantly higher for those living on tribal lands (18.9%) compared with those living off tribal lands (11.5%). While American Indian and Alaska Native adults living on tribal lands were more likely to have a usual place of care, they also were more likely to have an emergency room visit in the past 12 months compared with those living off tribal lands. The percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native adults who received an influenza vaccination in the past 12 months was higher among those living on tribal lands (49.6%) compared with those living off (39.2%). American Indian and Alaska Native adults living on tribal lands were less likely to delay or not receive mental health treatment due to cost in the past 12 months compared with American Indian and Alaska Native adults living off tribal lands (2.2% compared with 8.3%, respectively). Each of these associations remained after adjusting for differences in education level between the two groups.

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

The United States has seen increasing shifts toward home- and community-based services (HCBS) in place of institutional care for long-term services and supports. This paper identifies HCBS access barriers and facilitators, and discusses how barriers contribute to disparities for persons with dementia living in rural areas and exacerbate disparities for minoritized populations. Barriers to HCBS access for persons with dementia range from community and infrastructure barriers (e.g., clinicians and cultural differences), to interpersonal and individual-level barriers (e.g., caregivers, awareness, and attitudes). These barriers affect the health and quality of life for persons with dementia and may affect whether individuals can remain in their home or community. Facilitators included a range of more comprehensive and dementia-attuned practices and services in health care, technology, recognition and support for family caregivers, and culturally competent and linguistically accessible education and services. System refinements, such as incentivizing cognitive screening, can improve detection and increase access to HCBS. Disparities in HCBS access experienced by minoritized persons with dementia may be addressed through culturally competent awareness campaigns and policies that recognize the necessity of familial caregivers in supporting persons with dementia. These findings can inform efforts to ensure more equitable access to HCBS, improve dementia competence, and reduce disparities.

Source: RAND Corporation

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