Building Knowledge about Victim Services

Examining Financial Fraud Against Older Adults

Age Boundaries of the Juvenile Justice System


State Policy Ecosystem for Student-Centered Pathways

Breaking Down Enrollment Declines in Public Schools

Does a Second Review of School Meal Applications Reduce Errors?


Southern States Had Higher Than Average Share of Adults Age 30 and Over Who Lived With Grandchildren in 2021

Improper Payments: Information on Agencies’ Fiscal Year 2023 Estimates

Simulating the Effect of Strategies to Increase Transit Ridership by Reallocating Bus Service: Two Case Studies


Mortality in the United States, 2022

Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 2002–2022

Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN): Alcohol-Related Emergency Department Visits Short Report

March 29, 2024


The National Crime Victimization Survey is the nation’s primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, the survey obtains data from a nationally representative sample of approximately 240,000 people in about 150,000 households. The survey collects information on non-fatal personal crimes (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, and personal larceny) and household property crimes (burglary/trespassing, motor vehicle theft, and other types of household theft) both reported and not reported to the police. Victim service providers (VSPs) are a diverse set of public and private organizations, including nonprofit and faith-based, governmental, health care, tribal, for-profit, educational, and other organizations that serve victims of crime or abuse. They offer counseling, referrals, compensation assistance, and emergency safety planning to victims, among other supports. Using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, researchers can examine assistance from VSPs over time and by characteristics such as victim demographics or crime type. During the 29-year period from 1993 to 2021, the percentage of violent victimizations reported to the police ranged from 40% to 51%. The percentage of violent victimizations reported to the police in 1993 (42%) was not significantly different from the percentage in 2021 (46%). Examining more recent years, data from the National Crime Victimization Survey show that the percentage of violent victimizations reported to the police did not change significantly from 2018 to 2020, although it increased from 2020 (40%) to 2021 (46%). In 2021, reporting to the police ranged from 22% to 61% based on the type of violent crime. About 22% of rape or sexual assaults were reported to the police, while about 61% of aggravated assaults were reported to the police in 2021. Assistance received from a VSP varied by crime type between 2017 and 2021. Rape or sexual assault victimizations had the highest use of victim services (15%) compared to those who experienced other types of violent crime victim accessed services from a VSP in about 1 in 10 violent victimizations, excluding simple assault (rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault). Victim service use varied by victim demographic during 2017-2021. The percentage of violent victimizations involving female victims who received assistance from a VSP (11%) was higher compared to male victims (6%). During this period, victims ages 12-17 received assistance from a VSP in 14% of violent victimizations, which was higher than any other age group.

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

In this report, the authors analyze data from a nationally representative sample of persons age 60 or older who experienced personal financial fraud to examine financial fraud victimization committed against adults age 60 or older. The report found that in 2017, about 1.33% (929,570) of persons age 60 or older experienced at least one incident of fraud. However, there were no statistically significant differences between the percentage of persons age 60 or older and persons age 59 or younger who experienced fraud. This pattern held when examining by fraud type both for persons age 60 or older and for persons age 59 or younger. Regardless of victim age, the most common type of fraud was consumer products and services fraud, which about 65% of all fraud victims experienced. Examples of this type of fraud include technology support scams, automotive repair scams, weight-loss product scams, and online marketplace scams.

Source: National Institute of Justice Journal

This review of literature on the modern juvenile justice system discusses the system’s establishment and development history; it examines the available research on adolescent development and outcomes of raise-the-age legislation and court rulings on protections for youth under the age of 18 years. Age boundaries determine juvenile court original jurisdiction of youth charged with law-violating behavior that would be criminal if committed by an adult, although cases can be moved to adult court through various transfer mechanisms. As of 2022, nearly all states (49 states plus the District of Columbia) had set 17 as the upper age limit of juvenile court jurisdiction for delinquency or status offenses. However, research has also shown that in some places raising the upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction to at least 18 has not affected youths’ recidivism rates. Furthermore, the review found that among juvenile court delinquency cases in 2020, 3% involved juveniles younger than age 12, representing 15,083 children. Additionally, over time, the number of cases in juvenile court has decreased for all ages. From 2005 to 2020, the number of delinquency cases declined 69%, from more than 1.6 million cases to about 508,000 cases. Examination of national juvenile court case rates, which take into account differences in the numbers of juveniles under juvenile court jurisdiction in the general population by age, continue to demonstrate that youths ages 15, 16, and 17 are the most likely to have delinquency cases in juvenile court.

Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention


Student-centered pathways include practices designed to meet each student's individual needs. This means creating school learning environments that are personalized, competency-based, student-driven and connected to practical experiences. Student-centered pathways in high schools support the development of skills and knowledge necessary for success in postsecondary, career and civic life. In the past, policy levers to create student-centered pathways for high school students have been isolated and therefore difficult to implement. This document offers policymakers an opportunity to consider the connections between six policy areas (shared vision, learning opportunities, graduation requirements, accountability, state-level support, and funding) that can support successful implementation of student-centered pathways. Policymakers can also draw inspiration from examples of how states have leveraged each policy area. For example, in addition to traditional diploma requirements, Indiana requires students demonstrate employability skills and mastery of postsecondary competencies to graduate. Students are permitted to demonstrate employability skills through project-based learning, service-learning or work-based learning.

Source: Education Commission of the States

The newly released enrollment data from the National Center on Education Statistics for the 2022–23 school year point to moderate enrollment gains for traditional public schools. The recent enrollment gains though are smaller than the cumulative enrollment losses since 2019–20 and are not uniform. This research paper takes stock of enrollment losses today by comparing the distribution of changes in public school enrollment since the COVID-19 pandemic to the distribution of pre-pandemic changes across the nation. Roughly 59%, 69%, and 69% of small, medium-sized, and large schools, respectively, saw their enrollment decline between 2019–20 and 2022–23. One third of small, medium-sized, and large schools with enrollment declines lost 26, 54, and 96 students or more, respectively (i.e., top third). The share of schools experiencing such declines after COVID-19 is larger than what would be expected based on historical variation for medium-sized and large schools. Rural schools and high schools are disproportionally represented among schools with enrollment losses in the top third.

Source: Brookings Institute

Every year, local education agencies (LEAs) review the information provided by households on school meal applications and determine whether the students in the household are eligible to receive free, reduced-price, or paid school meals. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 added a provision that requires certain LEAs to conduct a second, independent review of applications (IRA) of those school meal applications to verify that the correct determination has been reached. The IRA process was first implemented in school year 2014-15. Data from the first two years that the IRA process was in place showed that few errors were caught during the second review, which was unexpected. This review was conducted to understand the IRA process and whether it is effective at identifying and correcting errors. The study found that LEAs usually classify student eligibility for school meals correctly; less than 5% of applications were classified in error. LEAs reported that the two biggest challenges with the IRA process are receiving incomplete/illegible applications from households and having available staff to conduct a second review of applications. States perceive that LEAs of all sizes struggle to complete the IRA process within the required 10-day timeframe.

Source: Westat


About 6.7 million people or 3.3% of adults age 30 and over lived with their grandchildren in 2021, according to a recently released U.S. Census Bureau report on the characteristics and geography of grandparents living with grandchildren under the age of 18 in the United States. Alaska, Hawaii and states in the Southeast and Southwest had a higher share of grandparent-grandchildren households than the national average while states in the Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest had lower shares. Grandparents have long served critical roles in U.S. families that are shaped by changing demographic trends, such as increasing life expectancy, which allows grandparents more years to develop relationships with grandchildren. Cultural expectations of the role of grandparents also contribute to differences in living arrangements. Nationally, roughly 32.7% of grandparents living with their grandchildren under the age of 18 were responsible for their care. With the exception of the District of Columbia, Florida and Maryland, states in the South had higher percentages than the national average while states on the West Coast tended to have lower percentages. Alaska was higher and Hawaii was lower than the national average. Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia and Michigan were the only states or state equivalents with estimates that were not significantly different from the national average.

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

Improper payments—those that should not have been made or were made in the incorrect amount—have consistently been a federal government-wide issue. Since Fiscal Year 2003, cumulative improper payment estimates by executive branch agencies have totaled about $2.7 trillion. Reducing improper payments is critical to safeguarding federal funds. In Fiscal Year 2023, 14 federal agencies made $236 billion in improper payments across 71 programs, a decrease of about $11 billion from the prior Fiscal Year. Agencies reported that about $175 billion (over 74%) of this total was the result of overpayments. About $186 billion (approximately 79%) was concentrated in five program areas: Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness. However, the $236 billion total does not include certain programs that agencies have determined are susceptible to significant improper payments, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also did not report improper payment estimates for the Office of Public and Indian Housing's Tenant Based Rental Assistance program and the Office of Multifamily Housing's Project-Based Rental Assistance program. As a result, the government-wide estimate potentially does not represent the full extent of improper payments. This report also discusses agencies' compliance with legal requirements for reporting and managing improper payments.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

In this research, the authors evaluate three strategies that transit operators might consider to increase ridership: 1) increasing service on bus routes serving the highest share of low-income riders, 2) increasing service on those bus routes with the highest ridership, and 3) further providing the high-ridership routes identified in strategy 2 with exclusive bus lanes. In each scenario, the authors double the service frequency of buses on the focus routes and reduce the frequency on all other routes to maintain the total vehicle revenue miles, making the changes roughly cost-neutral. The authors tested these scenarios for Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Atlanta, Georgia, using a modeling framework that combines CityCast, a commercially available data-driven planning tool to replicate observed travel patterns, and MATSim, an open-source framework for implementing large-scale agent-based transport simulations, to simulate how travelers would change the route, mode, and time-of-day of the trips they make in response to the service changes. The results show substantial ridership gains for all but one scenario, suggesting that these strategies may provide a promising, low-cost means of increasing transit ridership in some contexts. However, impacts varied across the two case studies, indicating that local conditions play a role.

Source: Journal of Public Transportation


This report presents final 2022 U.S. mortality data on deaths and death rates by demographic and medical characteristics. Key findings include that life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2022 was 77.5 years, an increase of 1.1 years from 2021. The age-adjusted death rate decreased by 9.2% from 879.7 deaths per 100,000 standard population in 2021 to 798.8 in 2022. Age-specific death rates increased from 2021 to 2022 for age groups 1–4 and 5–14 years and decreased for all age groups 15 years and older. The 10 leading causes of death in 2022 remained the same as in 2021, although some causes changed ranks. Heart disease and cancer remained the top 2 leading causes in 2022. Four causes changed rank from 2021. Unintentional injuries, the 4th leading cause of death in 2021, became the 3rd leading cause in 2022, while COVID-19 dropped from the 3rd leading cause to the 4th. Kidney disease went from the 10th leading cause in 2021 to the 9th leading cause in 2022, while chronic liver disease and cirrhosis dropped from the 9th leading cause to the 10th. The remaining leading causes in 2022 (stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer disease, and diabetes) remained at the same ranks as in 2021. The infant mortality rate was 560.4 infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 2022, an increase of 3.1% from the rate in 2021 (543.6).

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

Drug overdoses are one of the leading causes of injury death in adults and have risen over the past several decades in the United States. Overdoses involving synthetic opioids (fentanyl, for example) and stimulants (cocaine and methamphetamine, for example) have also risen in the past few years. This report presents rates of drug overdose deaths from the National Vital Statistics System over a 20-year period by demographic group and by the type of drugs involved (specifically, opioids and stimulants), with a focus on changes from 2021 to 2022. Key findings from this report include that the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 8.2 deaths per 100,000 standard population in 2002 to 32.6 in 2022; however, the rate did not significantly change between 2021 and 2022. Rates decreased between 2021 and 2022 for people ages 15–34 and increased for those age 35 and older. Between 2021 and 2022, rates increased for all race and Hispanic-origin groups, except Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander non-Hispanic and White non-Hispanic people. Between 2021 and 2022, the rate for synthetic opioids other than methadone increased 4.1% from 21.8 to 22.7, while rates for heroin, natural and semisynthetic opioids, and methadone declined. Between 2021 and 2022, rates for cocaine and psychostimulants with abuse potential increased.

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

The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) is a public health surveillance system that monitors emerging trends and characteristics of substance-related emergency department visits. This report examines emergency department visits involving alcohol from January 2021 to September 2023. The report found that during this period an estimated 8,566,725 emergency department visits related to alcohol. Adults ages 26 to 44 had the highest rate of alcohol-related emergency department visits at 1,489 per 100,000 people. Rates of alcohol-related emergency department visits also varied by demographic characteristics and location. Men had higher rates of alcohol-related emergency department visits (1,318 per 100,000 people) than women (558 per 100,000 people). The Northeast region also had higher rates of alcohol-related emergency department visits 1,471 per 100,000 people) than other regions. The South had the lowest rate of alcohol-related emergency department visits at 528 per 100,000 people.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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