PolicyNotes Banner

IN THIS ISSUE:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Long Term Effects of Drug Court Participation Evidence From a 15-Year Follow up of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Reforming Criminal Justice

Elder Abuse Research Review: September 2014 - August 2017


EDUCATION

Time to Proficiency for Hispanic English Learner Students in Texas

Education Savings Accounts: Giving Every Child the Chance to Succeed

Review of Evidence: Arts Integration Research Through the Lens of the Every Student Succeeds Act


GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

The Wealth of Veterans

Voters With Disabilities: Observations on Polling Place Accessibility and Related Federal Guidance

Estimating the Cost of Waiting for Nearly Perfect Automated Vehicles


HEALTH AND
HUMAN SERVICES

Kids' Share 2017: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2016 and Future Projections

Seniors with High Unreimbursed Health Care Costs: Who Are They?

Working With Influenza-Like Illness: Presenteeism Among U.S. Health Care Personnel During the 2014-2015 Influenza Season



November 9, 2017

Criminal_Justice
CRIMINAL JUSTICE

This dissertation compares 15-year recidivism, incarceration, and mortality outcomes for 235 subjects who participated in a 3-year follow-up of recidivism and self-reported crime and substance use after participation in the randomized trial of the Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court (BCDTC). The 3-year follow-up data from the drug treatment court showed that participation in the program reduced recidivism and that subjects self-reported less crime and substance use than did participants in traditional probation. In addition to extending the follow-up from 3 to 15 years, the current study compared differences in recidivism growth over time between drug-court participants and the control group. Findings indicate that participation in the drug treatment court resulted in significantly fewer arrests, charges, and convictions across the 15 years. Those who participated in the circuit drug court had significantly better outcomes than those who participated in the district drug court. Participation in the drug treatment court did not have a significant effect on total days of sentenced incarceration or on mortality risk. The study concludes that drug courts’ effectiveness with high-risk drug offenders has been demonstrated in several studies, with the current sample appearing to work best with offenders convicted of more serious charges.

Source: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice

This report covers dozens of topics within the areas of criminalization, policing, pretrial and trial processes, punishment, incarceration, and release. Authored by scholars in the relevant field, the chapters seek to enhance both professional and public understanding of the subject matter, to facilitate an appreciation of the relevant scholarly literature and to offer potential solutions.

Source: Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

This research review lists the latest primary and secondary literature related to elder abuse in the U.S. that was published beginning September 2014 and ending August 2017. Articles in this compilation cover topics in the elder abuse field including, but not limited to multiple types of abuse (including financial abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect), self-neglect, women and elder abuse, long-term care (including resident- to-resident aggression), cognition and capacity, mental health, elder abuse detection, as well as policy and intervention.

Source: National Center on Elder Abuse

Education
EDUCATION

This study determined the average time it took the 2005-06 cohort of grade 1 Hispanic English learner students in Texas public schools to attain English proficiency and to demonstrate at least satisfactory performance in reading and math on state assessments given in English or Spanish. About half of the students who were not English proficient by entry to grade 2 attained proficiency within 2.6 years (by approximately the middle of their expected grade-4 year), and about 88% were proficient by the end of grade 8. By the end of grade 3 most students in the cohort had met state standards in reading (about 84%) and math (about 80%) when tested in English or Spanish under the state’s previous assessment system. Time to proficiency varied by a number of student characteristics. English learner students who started grade 1 with a beginning level of English proficiency, those who participated in a special education program, and those who started grade 1 at age 7 or older were less likely to attain English proficiency and meet math and reading state standards at any given grade. Students eligible for the federal school lunch program were less likely to attain English proficiency and meet state reading standards at any given grade.

Source: Southwest Regional Educational Laboratory at SEDL

In the 21st century, students can learn anywhere, inside or outside the classroom, online, or from a personal tutor. Education savings accounts allow parents to customize their child’s education to fit his or her individual needs. There are currently education savings account laws enacted in Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, and Tennessee. In Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee, the accounts are available to children with special needs. The authors of this report suggest that lawmakers can look to existing savings account law provisions when considering programs in their own states. These provisions include eligibility, allowable expenses, fraud prevention, and use by homeschooling families.

Source: Heritage Foundation

Arts integration is an approach that links arts strategies and activities with curriculum and instruction in other subjects (e.g., mathematics, reading, science, and social studies) to improve student learning in those subjects. This report examines the relevance of arts integration to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The authors found that ESSA includes at least 12 different funding opportunities that state educational agencies, local educational agencies, and schools can use to implement arts integration interventions for students in all grades, from prekindergarten to Grade 12. Evidence of the effects of arts integration on student outcomes exists at all four ESSA evidence tiers. However, most arts integration interventions the authors reviewed are supported by the least rigorous evidence tier (Tier 4) only. The average effect found in the 27 well-designed studies examined by the authors was statistically significant but modest in magnitude.

Source: American Institutes for Research

Government Operations
GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

This report describes the wealth of veterans of various ages, including the differences in the components of wealth between male veteran householders and nonveteran householders 25 years and older. For householders 55 to 64 years old, veteran households had lower median net worth than their nonveteran counterparts ($160,809 compared with $232,669). In contrast, for householders 75 years and over, veteran households had higher median net worth than their nonveteran counterparts ($278,008 compared with $221,734). For some age groups, male veteran households had a higher percentage holding credit card debt than nonveteran households. For householders 35 to 44 years old, 59.0% of veteran households had credit card debt, compared with 47.7% of nonveteran households. In general, veteran households were more likely to have an account at a financial institution (such as a checking or savings account) than nonveteran households. About 94% of veteran households had such accounts, compared with 90.5% of nonveteran households.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Federal law generally requires all polling places for federal elections to be accessible to all voters, and each polling place to have a system for casting ballots that is accessible for people with disabilities. This Government Accountability Office (GAO) report examines in-person voting before and on Election Day 2016. The authors examined features at a nongeneralizable sample of 178 polling places, and found that 60% (107) had one or more potential impediments. The most common were steep ramps located outside buildings, lack of signs indicating accessible paths, and poor parking or path surfaces. Of the 178 polling places, GAO was able to fully examine voting stations inside the voting area at 137. Of these 137 polling places, 65% (89) had a voting station with an accessible voting system that could impede the casting of a private and independent vote.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

There is an ongoing policy debate about how safe should highly automated vehicles (HAVs) - vehicles that drive themselves some or all of the time - be before they are allowed on the roads for consumer use. This report compares road fatalities over time under a policy that allows HAVs to be deployed for consumer use when their safety performance is just 10% better than that of the average human driver and a policy that waits to deploy HAVs only once their safety performance is 75% or 90% better than that of average human drivers. The authors found that in the short term, more lives are cumulatively saved under a more permissive policy than stricter policies requiring greater safety advancements in nearly all conditions, and those savings can be significant - hundreds of thousands of lives. In the long term, more lives are cumulatively saved under the most permissive policy than either of the more restrictive policies under all combinations of conditions the authors explored. In many cases, those savings can be more than half a million lives. Reaching significant safety improvements may take a long time and may be difficult prior to deployment. Therefore, the number of lives lost while waiting for significant improvements prior to deployment may be large.

Source: RAND Corporation

Health and Human Services
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

In 2016, 10% of the federal budget (or $377 billion of $3.9 trillion in outlays) was spent on children. An additional $108 billion in tax reductions was targeted to families with children. Combining outlays and tax reductions, federal expenditures on children totaled $486 billion. Half of all federal expenditures on children comes from four spending and tax programs: Medicaid, the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, and the dependent exemption. The share of federal expenditures for children targeted to low-income families has increased over time, reaching 65% in 2016. Children’s programs are projected to receive just one cent of every dollar of the projected $1.5 trillion increase in federal spending over the next decade. Under current law, the children’s share of the budget is projected to drop from 9.8% to 7.5% over the next decade, as spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest payments on the debt consumes a growing share of the budget. By 2020, the federal government will spend more on interest payments on the debt than on children. Over the next decade, every major category of spending on children (e.g., health, education, and income security) is projected to decline relative to gross domestic product (GDP).

Source: Urban Institute

In 2013, roughly 25.8 million traditional Medicare beneficiaries spent at least 10% of their income on out-of-pocket health care expenses. The medical expense tax deduction makes health care more affordable for people with significant out-of-pocket expenses. This factsheet presents some of the key socio-economic and health characteristics of Medicare beneficiaries who bear such a high health care cost burden and for whom the medical expense tax deduction is critical.

Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Health care personnel working while experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI) contribute to influenza transmission in health care settings. Based on a survey of 1,914 health care personnel during the 2014-2015 influenza season, the authors found that 414 (21.6%) health care personnel reported ILI, and 183 (41.4%) reported working with ILI. Pharmacists (67.2%) and physicians (63.2%) had the highest frequency of working with ILI. By work setting, hospital-based health care personnel had the highest frequency of working with ILI (49.3%). The most common reasons for working while ill included still being able to perform job duties and not feeling bad enough to miss work. Among health care personnel at long-term care facilities, the most common reason was inability to afford lost pay.

Source: American Journal of Infection Control


N O T E :
An online subscription may be required to view some items.




GOVERNMENT PROGRAM SUMMARIES (GPS)
Government Program Summaries (GPS) is a free resource for legislators and the public that provides descriptive information on over 200 state government programs. To provide fiscal data, GPS links to Transparency Florida, the Legislature's website that includes continually updated information on the state's operating budget and daily expenditures by state agencies.

POLICYNOTES

A publication of the Florida Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis And Government Accountability

PolicyNotes, published every Friday, features reports, articles, and websites with timely information of interest to policymakers and researchers. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by third parties as reported in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect OPPAGA's views.

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of PolicyNotes provided that this section is preserved on all copies.