Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

Automation of Sexual Assault DNA Processing Increases Efficiency

White-Collar Crime, Sentencing Gender Disparities Post-Booker, and Implications for Criminal Sentencing


Condition of Education 2023

College Support Programs Tailored to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Parents Can Expand Employment Opportunities, Increase Earnings, and Promote Equity

Improving Student Behavior in the Classroom: Lessons from a National Study of Training and Support


Leveraging Commercial Space Services: Opportunities and Risks for the Department of the Air Force

Employer Engagement in Learning and Employment Records


Telehealth and In-Person Mental Health Service Utilization and Spending, 2019 to 2022

Effects of the Nurturing Parenting Program Nurturing Skills for Families on Child Safety and Permanency

Medicaid-Eligible Adults Who Lack Private Coverage and Are Not Enrolled: Are They Uninsured?

September 8, 2023


review summarizes trends in the involvement of girls in the juvenile justice system, how their contact with the system has changed over time, their unique risk factors and needs, theoretical frameworks explaining girls' involvement in delinquency and the juvenile justice system, and interventions that may lead to positive outcomes for girls. Historically, girls have been less likely than boys to become involved in the juvenile justice system. Increases in the proportion of cases involving girls during the 1990s led to increased attention on the needs of girls in the system and on how their needs may differ from boys’. Although girls are still underrepresented in most stages of the juvenile justice system, their representation is larger today than in the past. The review found that there was a large decline in both male and female delinquency cases between 2005 and 2020. Involvement of boys exceeded that of girls across all age groups and all offense categories (e.g., person, property, drug, and public order offenses). After being referred to court for delinquency cases, girls are less likely than boys to be petitioned (46% of the time, compared with 57%) and, alternatively, more likely to be informally handled (54% of the time for girls, compared with 43% of the time for boys). Additionally, the review notes that most analyses of state, local, and programmatic sources find that girls are less likely to recidivate then boys after involvement in the juvenile justice system. However, there is some evidence to suggest that within different racial and ethnic groups, there are differences in disparities by gender. Specifically, American Indian girls are more likely to be involved in the juvenile justice system than girls of other races and ethnicities.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

The ability to prosecute a sexual assault case often relies on the availability of DNA evidence. In fact, it has been reported that 72% of jurors anticipate seeing DNA in a sexual assault trial and that juries are 33 times more likely to convict when presented with DNA evidence. This presents a problem in the quest for justice because the process of manually extracting DNA from sexual assault kits can be time consuming and labor intensive. The consequence is a nationwide backlog of unprocessed kits. With funding from the National Institute of Justice, researchers sought to increase the efficiency of processing sexual assault kit samples to help reduce the backlog. Specifically, they automated a key step in the process that separates sperm cells from other cells — known as the DNAse I procedure — by using the Biomek® NXP robotic platform. A robotic platform that automates the processing of mixed samples from sexual assault kits could be a critical tool in the fight against sexual crimes by increasing efficiency and speed, improving accuracy and reliability, minimizing the risk of contamination or degradation of samples, and standardizing the procedure, both within and between labs.

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

White-collar crime is an amorphous term that has yet to be conclusively defined since its first use in 1939. This category of criminal activity results in what can be characterized as either economic harm or an impediment to the government’s ability to run successfully while minimizing conflicts of interest. Sentencing of white-collar crimes came into question in the late twentieth century due to a perception that white-collar offenders were receiving much lower sentences than offenders committing more traditional crimes. Additionally, the relationship between sentencing outcomes and status characteristics like race, age, citizen status, and gender were cause for concern. Different outcomes based on demographic differences were a significant part of the impetus for sentencing reform. To address these disparities, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) promulgated the United States Sentencing Guidelines in 1987 to minimize nationwide sentencing disparities. Although called guidelines, these pre-determined sentencing ranges were mandatory until 2005, when the Supreme Court deemed them merely advisory in United States v. Booker. The resumption of judicial discretion has potentially opened the door to new trends in sentencing disparities. This article focuses on analyzing the data provided by the USSC to determine if there has been a gender-based disparity in sentencing since 2005, and, if so, why. For white-collar crimes, women tend to face less severe sentences than men. Qualitative gender differences for white-collar offenders suggest that there is more than just difference in access to offending opportunities, as some had theorized. This disparity can be explained by looking at legal factors other than gender in combination with the impact of social stereotyping on women’s criminality and sentencing. Legal factors other than gender considered by the courts include women usually having less serious criminal records, committing less serious crimes, and playing smaller roles in offenses involving other defendants than men.

Source: Sentencing Law and Policy


This report is a congressionally mandated annual report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Using the most recent data available (at the time this report was written) from NCES and other sources, the report contains key indicators on the condition of education in the United States at all levels, from prekindergarten through postsecondary, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. This report found that about 50% of 3- to 4-year-olds were enrolled in school in October 2021, an increase of 10 percentage points compared with October 2020 (the first year of the pandemic) but still lower than in October 2019 (54%, before the pandemic). The percentage of 5-year-olds enrolled in school was also lower in October 2021 than in October 2019 (86% vs. 91%). Between fall 2010 and fall 2019, total public elementary and secondary school enrollment increased by 3%, from 49.5 million to 50.8 million students. Total enrollment then dropped by 3% to 49.4 million students in fall 2020 and remained at a similar level (49.4 million students) in fall 2021. Between fall 2010 and fall 2021, total undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting institutions decreased by 15% (from 18.1 million to 15.4 million students). Drops in undergraduate enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic (a decline of 1.1 million students between fall 2019 and fall 2021) accounted for 42% of the total decline during the period between fall 2010 and fall 2021. Additionally, the report found that public schools implemented a variety of strategies during the 2021–22 school year to support their students’ pandemic-related learning recovery, including identifying individual needs with diagnostic and formative assessment data, summer 2021 enrichment programs, and mental health and trauma support.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

The federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides states and territories with flexibility in operating programs designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency. Only about 10% of TANF parents have completed any education beyond high school. States can and should use the flexibility and financial resources they have to support parents receiving income support from the TANF program and allow them to participate in two- and four-year college programs. Helping families access college opens new possibilities for participation in state and local economies by reducing barriers to meaningful, long-term employment that many parents experiencing financial crises face. It also can disrupt the occupational segregation that occurs from TANF’s emphasis on work first, which results in parents being placed quickly into the same unstable, low-paying jobs that often led them to TANF in the first place. States can support participation in two- and four-year colleges in two ways. First, they can eliminate barriers to participation by allowing post-secondary education to count as a work activity, even when it does not count toward meeting the state’s federal work participation rate requirement. Second, they can create comprehensive programs to provide robust personal, financial, and academic supports to help parents enroll in college and successfully complete a two- or four-year degree.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

This report presents results from a school-level randomized controlled trial to test the effects of two years of training and technical assistance for elementary schools implementing a widely used approach called multi-tiered systems of support for student behavior (MTSS-B). The MTSS-B is a tiered approach in which schools adopt practices to promote positive behaviors among all students and provide additional support for those students who need it. The study, which occurred before the pandemic and was conducted in nearly 90 schools across the country, evaluated impacts of MTSS-B training and technical assistance on school climate, classroom management and functioning, and students’ behavior and academic achievement. For this study, an MTSS-B training provider, Center for Social Behavior Supports, provided two years of technical assistance and more than 60 hours of training for district coaches and school-based behavior teams. The study found that the MTSS-B practices were mostly implemented well by the schools and that the training and technical assistance program produced positive impacts on every feature of classroom management and functioning measured and some aspects of school climate. The MTSS-B schools did a better job of facilitating orderly classroom transitions from one activity to the next, of anticipating and responding to students’ needs, of using proactive behavior management strategies (for example, praising students for displays of positive behaviors), and of active monitoring students. However, the MTSS-B program did not produce overall impacts on student academic and behavioral outcomes during the two years of the intervention.

Source: MDRC


This report examines two space-related markets that together represent the widest variation in market and firm maturity: the commercial space-based positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) market (an emerging market) and the commercial satellite communications (SATCOM) market (an established market). This variation between the two markets is useful for identifying distinct and cross-cutting themes that could be generalized to other commercial space markets not analyzed in this research. In this report, the researchers describe their analysis and provide findings and recommendations for the U.S. Department of the Air Force. This report found that commercial pace services can provide additional capacity and resilience to existing space capabilities or provide new ones. The commercial space-based PNT market could provide greater accuracy and signal strength than is currently available via GPS. The SATCOM market offers a variety of technologies that provide high throughput, jamming resistance, low latency, and global coverage. However, these services will require U.S. Department of the Air Force to remove barriers that limit commercial services from being fully integrated into military operations. Additionally, the report makes three key recommendations regarding the way U.S. Department of the Air Force acquires commercial space services, including (1) market intelligence capabilities to be able to stay abreast of developments in technical capabilities, as well as financial viability and market dynamics invest in greater; (2) increase the sophistication of contracting capabilities to be more adept at negotiating contracted services; and (3) build flexible resourcing options so that service contract negotiations can be conducted in a more timely fashion.

Source: RAND Corporation

This report provides a current state assessment of how employers are learning about and being engaged in effort to design and adopt strategies regarding Learning and Employment Records (LERs), or digital records of learning and work. It also describes some emerging messages, themes, and tactics that show promise in building employer awareness, understanding, and ultimately adoption of LERs, digital credentials, and verified skills. This report found that employer communications and engagement efforts are stymied by confusing terminology and inconsistent descriptions. Learning and Employment Records leaders consistently overindex on communications about technical details, processes, project progress, and governance structures, rather than clear descriptions of how employers will benefit from LER platforms. Additionally, the report notes that while employers may understand and be open to the aims of LER initiatives, details matter. Limited details about how and when employers will engage with a platform, and what that engagement will require, limit the effectiveness of engagement efforts.

Source: Aspen Institute


Telehealth service utilization expanded rapidly at the COVID-19 pandemic outset, particularly for mental health conditions. Unlike physical health conditions that may require physical examinations or laboratory testing, many mental health services can be provided virtually. Three years after the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 national public health emergency declaration, many facets of the U.S. health care system have returned to normal. However, trends in mental health service utilization and spending before expiration of the public health emergency in May 2023 are largely undocumented. In this report, the authors assessed monthly telehealth versus in-person utilization and spending rates for mental health services among commercially insured U.S. adults between 2019 and 2022. During the acute phase, in-person visits decreased by 39.5% and telehealth visits increased roughly 10-fold (1,019.3%) compared with the year prior. Jointly, this represented a 22.3% increase in overall utilization. These trends were generally consistent across conditions. During the post-acute phase, telehealth visits stabilized at approximately 10 times (1,068.3%) pre-pandemic levels, whereas in-person visits increased 2.2% each month over the period. By August 2022, in-person visits had returned to 79.9% of pre-pandemic levels; overall, mental health service utilization was 38.8% higher than before the pandemic. These findings suggest that telehealth utilization for mental health services remains persistent and elevated. If this increased utilization affects spending, insurers may begin rejecting the new status quo. This concern is particularly relevant when considered against the backdrop of telehealth policies that expired alongside the national public health emergency declaration.

Source: RAND Corporation

Many child welfare agencies use the Nurturing Parenting Program Nurturing Skills for Families (NPP) program to strengthen parenting skills. The program includes a flexible sequence of lessons that are tailored to meet each family's needs. This study estimated the effects of NPP on child safety and permanency outcomes using a quasi-experimental design. This study included 1,102 children in Arizona whose families were referred to NPP between 2018 and 2020 (treatment group) and 6,845 children in Arizona whose families were referred to other in-home family preservation services during the same period (comparison group). Outcomes were based on child welfare administrative data. The study estimated (1) the effects of being referred to NPP (regardless of a family's level of participation) and (2) the effects of completing NPP. The study found no evidence of impacts of being referred to NPP. However, children whose families completed NPP were less likely to experience an investigation or substantiated investigation 4 months after the service referral, and less likely to experience a removal 16 months later. The program had favorable effects on child welfare outcomes when families completed the program. Additional research is necessary to understand the supports that enable families to complete NPP and the specific components that are particularly effective.

Source: Mathematica

People who are eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled in the program or other source of coverage have long been considered uninsured. Some contend that this group should be considered at least partially insured because they can enroll in Medicaid if needed. To address how policymakers could best interpret counts of the more than five million people who are eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled, the authors used data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component to compare this group to Medicaid enrollees, Medicaid-eligible people with private coverage, and two low-income uninsured groups. Assessing differences in access to health care, use of services, and spending, results showed that Medicaid-eligible but not enrolled adults have outcomes much more like those of other uninsured low-income adults and less like those of low-income adults with insurance. Compared with Medicaid enrollees and Medicaid-eligible adults who had private coverage, the Medicaid-eligible uninsured were less likely to have a usual source of care, were more likely to face financial barriers to needed care, had lower utilization of care, and had a higher prevalence of high out-of-pocket burdens. These findings have policy implications for how to interpret counts of the uninsured and highlight the importance of policies that promote Medicaid enrollment and retention. The authors argue against viewing Medicaid-eligible uninsured adults as having substantially more coverage than other uninsured adults. Results highlight the gains in access to care and utilization, and reduced out-of-pocket spending burdens, that may arise from steps to increase Medicaid enrollment and improve retention among the eligible population. Additionally, data showed that the Medicaid-eligible uninsured are not only low-income, but also more likely to be Black (non-Hispanic) and Hispanic than the general U.S. population. Policies promoting enrollment and retention among Medicaid-eligible adults would improve health equity.

Source: Urban Institute

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