The Impact of COVID-19 on the Nation's Juvenile Court Caseload

Mind Matters: Building a Justice System That Is Inclusive and Responsive to Brain Injury

Evidence-Based and Promising Programs and Practices to Support Parents Who Are Incarcerated and Their Children and Families


Families’ Participation in School Choice and Importance of Factors in School Choice Decisions in 2019

A Shift in School Reform: Examining Site-Level Spending and Student Academic Growth

Supporting Learning Online: Perspectives of Faculty and Staff at Broad-Access Institutions During COVID-19


Automation and Rent Dissipation: Implications for Wages, Inequality, and Productivity

How Banks and Credit Unions Can Better Serve and Protect People 50-Plus


2023 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report

Availability of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Community Mental Health Facilities

A Multilevel Analysis of Changing Telehealth Availability in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Settings: Conditional Effects of Rurality, the Number and Types of Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Available, and Time, U.S., 2016-2023

June 28, 2024


The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the policies, procedures, and data collection activities of juvenile courts relating to the referrals and processing of youth. Mitigation efforts such as stay-at-home orders and school closures impacted the volume and types of law-violating behavior by youth referred to juvenile court. Data submitted to the National Juvenile Court Data Archive project (archive) provides unique insight into the impact of COVID-19 on juvenile court caseloads. The uniqueness of the data collected by the archive allows for a monthly analysis of court case volume and processing, which provides insight into any changes in case processing characteristics both at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and over time. This bulletin focuses primarily on patterns in case processing activities that occurred in 2020, compared with an average of the case processing characteristics for the prior 3 years (2017-2019), but also displays data through 2021. Juvenile court workloads were most notably impacted at the onset of the pandemic, between March and May of 2020. The number of delinquency cases decreased from 58,200 in February 2020 to 26,500 in April 2020. The number of delinquency cases handled by juvenile courts in March, April, and May 2020 was well below the average number of cases handled in the same months between 2017 and 2019. The proportion of delinquency cases involving detention in 2020 was very similar to prior years. While there was some variation in how cases were handled in 2020, the pattern of informally handled cases (i.e., without filing a petition to formally request an adjudicatory or judicial waiver hearing) in 2021 saw a return to the pre-pandemic pattern. The number of cases in which juvenile court judges waived jurisdiction and transferred the case to criminal court fell considerably at the onset of the pandemic. Additionally, the number of cases judicially waived in March, April, and May 2020 was at least 30% below the average number of cases waived in the same months between 2017 and 2019. However, beginning in June 2020 and through the end of the year, the number of cases waived increased and returned to a level similar to the average of the prior 3 years.

Source: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

This report represents a call to action for criminal justice actors at the local, state, and federal levels to recognize the importance of identifying and appropriately addressing brain injury across the system. The findings reveal a clear picture of opportunities across the criminal justice system and the need for coordinated change. Individuals encountering the justice system often present with highly complex needs, and over half have a brain injury history. Implementing best practices and policy reform around brain injury improves the outcomes of individuals living with brain injury in the justice system. Additionally, helping individuals effectively manage the consequences and symptoms of their brain injury enhances public safety. Research indicated the absence of widespread, specialized training on brain injury among criminal justice agencies. Many criminal justice professionals participating in this project identified this training gap based on their own experiences and expressed a desire for knowledge and skill-building on this topic area. The focus group and interview participants consistently mentioned the importance of specialized screening for brain injury and having protocols and processes to easily identify individuals with brain injury encountering the criminal justice system. Criminal justice agency representatives participating in the interviews and focus groups often shared that they lack guidance around what to do when a person screens positive for brain injury and how to adapt their programs, policies, and practices to be responsive. Brain injury rehabilitation services vary widely from state to state and can be difficult to find when there is no direct communication between criminal justice entities and brain injury service provider organizations. There should be a clear pathway to get from screening to services, which requires criminal justice entities to be aware of what resources exist and how to best get connected to those resources.

Source: The Council of State Governments, Justice Center

Parental incarceration impacts all members of a family unit, including parents who are incarcerated, their children, and the parents, legal guardians, or caregivers who are not incarcerated. Implementing evidence-based programs and practices tailored to support parents who are incarcerated and their families is crucial for addressing their complex needs, mitigating the negative consequences of incarceration, and promoting positive outcomes for families. While the landscape of programs and practices addressing the needs of parents who are incarcerated and their families is vast and continuously evolving, this brief discusses examples from the field, providing a glimpse of the diversity of approaches. These programs and practices are informed by research that reflects best practices, as well as input from practitioners and administrators on evidence-based and promising practices and programs used by the field collected through a survey. Examples of these programs and practices include: 1) In-person, contact, child-friendly visiting, which provides opportunities for parents who are incarcerated to spend quality family time together, which helps maintain parent-child attachment, reduces a child’s sense of abandonment, and preserves a sense of belonging as part of a family. 2) Visit coaching which is an individualized model to meet the needs of the family before, during, and after visits. Before visits, coaches support parents who are incarcerated with understanding their children’s needs, preparing for difficult questions, and coping with feelings of separation from their children. Coaches can also work with children and families before visiting a parent who is incarcerated about what to expect during the visit process. 3) Free phone calls, video visiting, and transportation for in-person visits eliminate cost barriers and make contact accessible for parents who are incarcerated and their children.

Source: The Council of State Governments, Justice Center


This article uses data from the 2019 Parent and Family Involvement Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program (PFI-NHES). The 2019 PFI collected data about students in kindergarten through grade 12. The survey explored many aspects of families’ experiences with schooling, including how parents reported choosing schools for their children to attend. This report explores the types of schools that children attended, whether parents reported considering schools other than the one their child attends, and the percentage of students whose parents reported selected reasons as being “very important” when choosing a school. For the report, public assigned schools are schools that a local public school district assigned based on where the family lived; public chosen schools are public schools that were different from the school the district assigned; private religious schools are private schools that belonged to a particular religion or faith; and private nonreligious schools are private schools that were not religious. In 2019, some 79% of all students enrolled in grades K–12 attended public assigned schools, 12% attended public chosen schools, 7% attended private religious schools, and 2% attended private nonreligious schools. Seventy-two percent of students who attended private nonreligious schools had parents who reported considering schools other than the one their child attends—the highest percentage compared to students in other school types. Parents who reported considering schools other than the one their child attends were provided a list of reasons for choosing a school and asked how important each reason was to their choice, from “not at all important” to “very important.” Seventy-nine percent of students’ parents rated the quality of teachers, principal, or other school staff as “very important.” Other factors that were selected as very important by over half of the students’ parents were school safety (71%), curriculum focus or academic programs (60%), and academic performance of students at the school (53%).

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

The demand for improved student academic performance in the United States has led to a wave of education reform efforts. In general, accountability legislation, like the federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), aims to keep educational institutions accountable for student academic outcomes by employing performance-based measures and specific incentives and penalties. Like its immediate predecessor, No Child Left Behind, the ESSA legislation focuses on school accountability, test-based performance, and closing the achievement gap among student groups. However, unlike previous legislation, ESSA shifted its reform strategy to allow greater flexibility for states to design accountability systems that may include student growth measures and expanded public transparency reporting to include site-level per-pupil spending. School accountability changes ignited through ESSA legislation provides optimism around flexibility in the design of state accountability systems and expectations of public transparency as drivers to support K-12 public-school reform. In this study, the authors examined whether there was a relationship between school per-pupil spending and student academic growth outcomes among seventh grade school students on Michigan’s statewide assessment. Findings suggest that after controlling for student and school characteristics, site-level per-pupil spending was positively associated with the average student growth percentile in seventh grade mathematics and English/language arts. The results from this study and the existing research literature suggest financial resources may unlock greater potential for improving the academic performance of public-school students.

Source: Educational Policy

The research team’s conversations with faculty, staff, and administrators at nine partner institutions, including Palm Beach State College, help to clarify the numerous successes and challenges of supporting student learning in online courses during COVID-19. While broad-access colleges and universities moved proactively to adapt to a nearly fully online environment through investments in technology hardware and software and professional development that they have continued to develop, they are still seeking to address persistent disparities in outcomes by course modality and by race, gender, age, and other student characteristics. The pandemic may have also supported a growing consensus among higher education institutions and their instructors and staff to provide more support for students’ sense of belonging, mindsets, self-efficacy, and likelihood to seek help. The Postsecondary Teaching with Technology Collaborative theorizes that a SDL (self-directed learning) framework could be a particularly useful resource for faculty to help students better manage their learning in online settings. The analysis suggests institutions have multiple strengths that they can build upon to more intentionally and fully implement SDL supports across the institution, both inside and outside of classrooms.

Source: Community College Research Center


This paper studies the effects of automation in economies with labor market distortions that generate worker rents—wages above opportunity cost—in some jobs. The authors show that automation targets high-rent tasks, dissipating rents and amplifying wage losses from automation. It also reduces within-group wage dispersion for exposed groups. Automation-driven rent dissipation is inefficient and reduces (and could even negate) the productivity gains from automation. Using data for the U.S. from 1980 to 2016, the authors find evidence of sizable rent dissipation and reduced within-group wage dispersion due to automation. Using these estimates and accounting for equilibrium effects, the authors estimate that automation accounts for 52% of the increase in between-group inequality in the U.S. since 1980, with rent dissipation being responsible for a fifth of this contribution. The authors also estimate that inefficient rent dissipation offset 60%–90% of the productivity gains from automation since 1980.

Source: Blueprint Labs

In the past 10 years, both the financial industry and the consumers it serves have experienced significant change. Some of the more significant changes include technological advancements that sent people online for their banking needs, criminals whose tactics have become increasingly sophisticated, and a global pandemic that saw more than a twofold increase in financial exploitation. To better understand how consumers’ banking practices and experiences have changed, the authors surveyed more than 2,000 adults ages 18 or older in June and July 2023. Results showed that one in two respondents were a victim or intended victim of financial exploitation. More than 60% of victims 50+ were more likely to trust their financial institution based on how it handled financial exploitation, compared to just 41% in 2014. More than nine in 10 (92%) adults 50+ want the employees of their financial institution to be trained to recognize and stop financial exploitation, up from 85% in 2014. The majority of respondents 50+ are at least somewhat more likely to use a financial institution recognized as having taken proven steps to prevent exploitation. The insights from this research provide focus areas and priorities for financial institutions to cater to the diverse needs of consumers, regardless of age, thus fostering trust and resilience against financial exploitation. Financial institutions should embrace a dual approach that caters to older adults’ preference for personal interaction while leveraging advancements in digital banking services. Increasing trust, effectively addressing financial exploitation, and offering age-friendly banking services will be pivotal in retaining older customers and attracting younger ones. Trusted organizations and the development of comprehensive financial caregiving services will further enhance the industry’s appeal and will contribute to the overall well-being of older customers.

Source: AARP Public Policy Institute


The annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report is mandated by Congress to provide a comprehensive overview of the quality of healthcare received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial and socioeconomic groups. Quality measures are grouped into six priorities: patient safety, person-centered care, care coordination, effective treatment, healthy living, and care affordability. The report is based on more than 250 measures of quality and disparities covering a broad array of healthcare services and settings. This year's report focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. healthcare and healthcare systems. In 2021, overall life expectancy decreased for the second year in a row, further expanding a life expectancy gap between U.S. residents (76.1 years) and people who live in peer countries. The leading contributors to the drop in life expectancy in 2021 were COVID-19 (which contributed 50% of the decrease in life expectancy), unintentional injuries (15.9%, a plurality of which were drug overdose), heart disease (4.1%), liver disease (3.0%), and suicide (2.1%). Substantial disparities in life expectancy exist among people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. As of January 2023, overall healthcare workforce participation has returned to levels reported in January 2020. Additionally, many rural Americans lack access to primary care services and hospital care, as 174 rural hospitals closed. In 2021, publicly sponsored health insurance accounted for 40.4% of all healthcare consumption. Private health insurance accounted for 29.9%, and out-of-pocket spending accounted for 10.7%.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The opioid crisis is an ongoing and urgent public health emergency, with 80,401 opioid overdose deaths in 2021, despite effective, life-saving medications. Collectively referred to as medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), these medications—buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone—have become the standard for opioid use disorder recovery. MOUD use has been associated with reductions in health care use, including both inpatient and outpatient care, as well as decreased overdose mortality. Despite its effectiveness and the treatment need, MOUD remains underused. A recent study found that nearly 90% of those with OUD did not receive MOUD. Barriers to MOUD access persist despite ongoing efforts to improve capacity, including policy changes. MOUD access is further complicated by the many individuals with co-occurring OUD and mental health disorders; an estimated 25% of adults with OUD having a co-occurring serious mental illness. Complexities in navigating multiple systems (e.g., primary care, specialty substance use disorder care, mental health care) pose additional barriers for adults with co-occurring disorders, requiring improved understanding of how to increase access and treatment utilization. Because individuals with co-occurring disorders are more likely to receive treatment for mental health than an SUD, and given the high OUD prevalence in community mental health treatment facilities (MHTFs), MHTFs are a potentially important MOUD access point. Increasing MOUD delivery in physical health care settings has been a priority, with less attention to increasing delivery in MHTFs, which has the potential to improve access to the more than 13 million individuals with co-occurring disorders who receive care in such settings annually. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), an important subset of MHTFs, are required to provide a range of streamlined behavioral health care services. This cross-sectional study performed a phone survey between April and July 2023 among a representative sample of 450 staff at community outpatient MHTFs within 20 states most affected by the opioid crisis, including all CCBHCs. Analyses found that 34% of MHTFs offered MOUD in these states. Facility-level factors associated with increased odds of offering MOUD were: self-reporting being a CCBHC, providing integrated mental and substance use disorder treatment, having a specialized treatment program for clients with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders, offering housing services, and laboratory testing. Facilities that accepted state-financed health insurance plans other than Medicaid as a form of payment had increased odds of offering MOUD and facilities that accepted state mental health agency funds had reduced odds. These results suggest that further study is needed to report MOUD uptake, either through increased prescribing at all clinics or through effective referral models.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

The opioid overdose crisis requires strengthening treatment systems with innovative technologies. How people use telehealth for opioid use disorder (OUD) is evolving and differs in rural versus urban areas, as telehealth is emerging as a local resource and complementary option to in-person treatment. In this report, the authors assessed changing trends in telehealth and medication for OUD (MOUD) and pinpoint locations of low telehealth and MOUD access. Using national data from the Mental health and Addiction Treatment Tracking Repository (2016-2023), the authors identified 495 specialty outpatient SUD treatment facilities in the United States that offered both telehealth and all three MOUD medication types (methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone) in 2023, clustered in the eastern United States. Analyses indicate that telehealth in facilities that did not offer MOUD shifted from more telehealth in rural facilities in earlier years to more telehealth in urban facilities in later years. Treatment facilities that offer both telehealth and all three MOUD medication types may improve access for hard-to-reach populations. The authors stress the importance of continued health system strengthening and technological resources in vulnerable rural communities, while acknowledging a changing landscape of increased OUD incidence and MOUD demand in urban communities.

Source: RAND Corporation

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