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IN THIS ISSUE:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Prisoners In 2016

The Gender Divide: Tracking Women's State Prison Growth

Closing the “Gap” Between Competency and Commitment in Minnesota: Ideas from National Standards and Practices in Other States

Substance Abuse Treatment Centers and Local Crime


EDUCATION

Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2014–15 (Fiscal Year 2015)

The Looming Student Loan Crisis is Worse Than We Thought


GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Analysis of Freight Transport Strategies and Methodologies

Government Loan Modifications: What Happens When Interest Rates Rise?

Integrating Social and Behavioral Sciences Within the Weather Enterprise


HEALTH AND
HUMAN SERVICES

Maternal Characteristics of Prenatal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Receipt in the United States, 2016

State Variations in Infant Mortality by Race and Hispanic Origin of Mother, 2013–2015



January 12, 2018

Criminal_Justice
CRIMINAL JUSTICE

The number of prisoners under state and federal jurisdiction at year-end 2016 (1,505,400) decreased by 21,200 (down more than 1%) from year-end 2015. The imprisonment rate in the United States decreased 2%, from 459 prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents of all ages in 2015 to 450 per 100,000 in 2016. Florida’s imprisonment rate was 481 prisoners per 100,000 residents at year-end 2016, down from 496 prisoners per 100,000 year-end 2015. Nationally, more than half (54%) of state prisoners were serving sentences for violent offenses at year-end 2015, the most recent year for which data are available. The number of prisoners held in private facilities in 2016 (128,300) increased 2% from year-end 2015 (up 2,100). In Florida, the number of inmates held in private facilities decreased by 2.5% over the same time period from 12,487 inmates in 2015 to 12,176 in 2016. At year-end 2016, Florida had 6,984 non-U.S. citizen prisoners in the custody of the state.

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

Even as men’s incarceration rates are falling, women’s incarceration rates remain near record highs, a trend driven by criminal justice decisions at the state level. This report examines women’s incarceration trends in state prisons for all 50 states. Counter to the national trend, Florida is one of 14 states where the decline in the inmate population was greater for women relative to men. From 2009 to 2015, the number of female inmates in Florida’s prisons declined 5%, whereas the number of male inmates declined by 2%.

Source: Prison Policy Initiative

In Minnesota, a "gap" exists in the justice system for defendants with mental illness. Defendants in criminal cases are found incompetent to stand trial, yet do not meet the higher standard for civil commitment. Commitment is the only way to receive competency restoration treatment, so individuals who do not meet the standard are unable to resolve their criminal cases or to receive treatment. This report examines how other states address incompetency. Thirty-one states, including Florida, operate formal and informal outpatient competency restoration treatment programs. Meanwhile, several different states have begun to utilize jail-based treatment to competency. In some states, “treatability” is a key consideration in determining the appropriate action upon a finding of incompetency. Untreatable defendants may face civil commitment or release but they are not offered treatment resources.

Source: Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, University of Minnesota

This paper estimates the effects of expanding access to substance-abuse treatment on local crime. The authors do so using an identification strategy that leverages variation driven by substance-abuse-treatment facility openings and closings measured at the county level. The results indicate that substance-abuse-treatment facilities reduce both violent and financially motivated crimes in an area, and that the effects are particularly pronounced for relatively serious crimes. The effects on homicides are documented across three sources of homicide data.

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Education
EDUCATION

The 50 states and the District of Columbia reported $648.6 billion in revenues collected for public elementary and secondary education in Fiscal Year 2015. State and local governments provided $593.6 billion, or 91.5% of all revenues. The federal government contributed $55.0 billion, or 8.5% of all revenues. Total revenues per pupil averaged $12,903 on a national basis in Fiscal Year 2015. Current expenditures per pupil for public elementary and secondary education steadily increased between Fiscal Year 2013 to Fiscal Year 2015. Current expenditures per pupil were $11,454 at the national level in Fiscal Year 2015, which represents an increase of 2.8% from FY 2014, following an increase of 1.2% from Fiscal Year 2013. Current expenditures per pupil ranged from $6,751 in Utah to $20,744 in New York. Florida’s current expenditures per pupil in Fiscal Year 2015 was $9,113.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Trends for the 1996 first-time-in-college entry cohort show that cumulative student loan default rates continue to rise between 12 and 20 years after initial entry. Applying these trends to the 2004 entry cohort suggests that nearly 40% may default on their student loans by 2023. For-profit borrowers default at twice the rate of public two-year borrowers (52% versus 26% after 12 years), but because for-profit students are more likely to borrow, the rate of default among all for-profit entrants is nearly four times that of public two-year entrants (47% versus 13%). Debt and default among black college students is at crisis levels, and even a bachelor’s degree is no guarantee of security: black bachelor of arts graduates default at five times the rate of white BA graduates (21% versus 4%), and are more likely to default than white dropouts. Out of 100 students who ever attended a for-profit, 23 defaulted within 12 years of starting college in the 1996 cohort compared to 43 in the 2004 cohort (compared to an increase from just 8 to 11 students among entrants who never attended a for-profit).

Source: Brookings Institution

Government Operations
GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Transportation agencies are often blind to freight flows at the “last mile” level of truck movements. New strategies, data sources, and analytics have the potential to provide an empirical understanding of last mile truck movements and their impacts, without relying on commercially sensitive private sector data. This research project identifies best practices and recommends strategies for improving last mile observability, i.e. the ability to understand how, when, where, and which types of trucks are moving goods. It provides a set of approaches that the Florida Department of Transportation and Florida’s metropolitan planning organizations can integrate into existing processes and implement in the near term.

Source: Florida Department of Transportation

In this brief, the authors examine government loan modification products available for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). FHA, VA, and USDA borrowers who fall behind on their payments are unlikely to receive adequate payment relief when the market interest rate is higher than the original note rate. The authors argue that, with some changes to the loan modification options at the FHA, VA, and USDA, current and future delinquent borrowers in rising interest rate environments could be better served.

Source: Urban Institute

Our ability to observe and forecast severe weather events has improved markedly over the past few decades. Forecasts of snow and ice storms, hurricanes and storm surge, extreme heat, and other severe weather events are made with greater accuracy, geographic specificity, and lead time to allow people and communities to take appropriate protective measures. Yet hazardous weather continues to cause loss of life and result in other preventable social costs. There is growing recognition that a host of social and behavioral factors affect how we prepare for, observe, predict, respond to, and are impacted by weather hazards. For example, an individual’s response to a severe weather event may depend on their understanding of the forecast, prior experience with severe weather, concerns about their other family members or property, their capacity to take the recommended protective actions, and numerous other factors. Thus, it is essential to bring to bear expertise in the social and behavioral sciences to understand how people’s knowledge, experiences, perceptions, and attitudes shape their responses to weather risks and to understand how human cognitive and social dynamics affect the forecast process itself.

Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Health and Human Services
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Four in 10 women (39.6%) who gave birth in the United States in 2016 received prenatal benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Rates of prenatal WIC receipt declined with increasing maternal age for women under 40. Among the six race and Hispanic-origin groups, receipt of prenatal WIC was highest for Hispanic mothers (61.4%) and lowest for non-Hispanic Asian mothers (23.2%). Receipt of prenatal WIC decreased as maternal education level increased.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics

In 2013-2015, the infant mortality rate by state ranged from 4.28 per 1,000 live births in Massachusetts to 9.08 in Mississippi. In Florida, the infant mortality rate was 6.16 per 1,000 live births. Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.), the mortality rate for infants of non-Hispanic white women ranged from 2.52 in D.C. to 7.04 in Arkansas. For infants of non-Hispanic black women, the mortality rate ranged from 8.27 in Massachusetts to 14.28 in Wisconsin. The mortality rate for infants of Hispanic women ranged from 3.94 in Iowa to 7.28 in Michigan. In Florida, the mortality rates for infants of Hispanic women was 4.23 per 1,000 live births, significantly lower than the national mortality rate for infants of Hispanic women.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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