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Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States
Source: Urban Institute

This study chronicles the experiences of labor trafficking victims from the point of recruitment for work, their forced labor victimization, their attempts to escape and get help, and their efforts to seek justice through civil or criminal cases. The report finds that legal loopholes and lax enforcement enable labor traffickers to commit crimes against workers in major US industries: agriculture, domestic work, hotels, restaurants, and construction. Interview and case file data detail the ubiquity of trafficking, which occurs both in plain sight and behind lock and key. Detailed recommendations propose next steps for policy and practice.

See also: Lax Enforcement and Legal Loopholes Enable Labor Trafficking Victimization; Broadest look ever at victim experiences in five major US industries

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Who Pays for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exams? It Is Not the Victim’s Responsibility

October 7, 2014 Comments off

Who Pays for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exams? It Is Not the Victim’s Responsibility (PDF)
Source: Urban Institute

The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 requires that sexual assault victims must not be required to file law enforcement reports in order to receive free exams. This study aimed to examine how states are meeting these goals. We found victim compensation funds are by far the largest funder of exams across the country. In the 19 jurisdictions included in case studies, victims generally received free exams without having to report if they did not want to. However, barriers to even accessing the exam prevent some victims from seeking help.

Aging Behind Bars: Trends and Implications of Graying Prisoners in the Federal Prison System

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Aging Behind Bars: Trends and Implications of Graying Prisoners in the Federal Prison System
Source: Urban Institute

This new Urban Institute study provides an in-depth examination of the growth patterns in the largest correctional system in the United States—the US Bureau of Prisons. The number of prisoners age 50 or older experienced a 330 percent increase from 1994 to 2011. The authors find that the proportion of these older prisoners is expected to have an even steeper growth curve in the near future and they may consume a disproportionately large amount of the federal prison budget. Recommendations for policy and research include expanding data-driven knowledge on older prisoners and developing cost-effective management plans for them.

The State of Nonprofit Governance

September 17, 2014 Comments off

The State of Nonprofit Governance
Source: Urban Institute

This report provides a snapshot of nonprofit governance policies and practices among operating public charities. Using IRS Form 990 data, we find that many public charities have good governance policies and practices in place. In 2010, more than 60 percent of organizations had a conflict of interest policy, an independent audit and a compensation review and approval process for their chief executive. We also find that organizational characteristics such as size, type of organization, government funding, age, board size and board independence all appear related to whether or not a public charity chooses to adopt these recommended practices.

Taking Stock: Health Insurance Coverage for Parents under the ACA in 2014

September 16, 2014 Comments off

Taking Stock: Health Insurance Coverage for Parents under the ACA in 2014
Source: Urban Institute

Nationally, between September 2013 and June 2014, the estimated uninsured rate for parents fell 2.4 percentage points from 16.7 percent to 14.3 percent, a drop of 14.4 percent. In June 2014, the uninsured rate for nonelderly parents was estimated to be 14.3 percent (95% CI [12.5, 16.2]) for the nation (figure 1, table 1).7 The uninsured rate declined for parents by 2.4 percentage points (95% CI [0.2, 4.6]) between September 2013 and June of 2014, a drop of 14.4 percent. This compares with the decline of 22.3 percent found in the uninsured rate for all nonelderly adults over this time frame (Long, Kenney, Zuckerman, Wissoker, Shartzer, Karpman, Anderson, and Hempstead 2014).

See also: A First Look at Children’s Health Insurance Coverage under the ACA in 2014

Homeless LGBTQ Youth

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Homeless LGBTQ Youth
Source: Urban Institute

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning (LGBTQ) youth are over-represented among the homeless youth population. Researchers and practitioners are working to improve data on homeless youth, especially LGBTQ youth, across the country. This brief summarizes the findings on LGBTQ homeless youth counted during the 2013 YouthCount!, a federal interagency initiative that aims to improve counts of unaccompanied homeless youth. The brief also shares best practices on how to improve counts of LGBTQ homeless youth, and areas where policymakers can act to improve LGBTQ youth outcomes.

Little Evidence of the ACA Increasing Part-Time Work So Far

September 8, 2014 Comments off

Little Evidence of the ACA Increasing Part-Time Work So Far
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Urban Institute

Some reports have suggested that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is already triggering an increase in part-time workers. Is this true?

So far, the available evidence suggests those claims are false. This Quick Strike analysis by the Urban Institute suggests that there is “no evidence that the ACA had already started increasing part-time work before 2014.”

If the ACA was likely to have increased part-time work, how might it have happened?

Primarily in two ways:

  • Employers with 50 or more employees will be subject to penalties under the ACA if they fail to comply with the act’s employer mandate—the requirement that they provide adequate and affordable coverage for their full-time employees. In anticipation of the mandate, some suggest, employers are seeking to avoid or reduce penalties either by cutting employee hours to below 30—the threshold at which an employee is considered full-time—or hiring more part-time workers.
  • Employees, offered access to health insurance under the ACA—including subsidies for those with family incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level—might be voluntarily choosing part-time employment because they no longer need the employer-sponsored health insurance available only to full-time employees.

Urban Institute researchers say their analysis offers more likely explanations. Their research indicates transitions between full-time and part-time work are consistent with historical patterns. Moreover, “These findings suggest that the increase in part-time work in 2014 is not ACA-related, but more likely due to a slower than normal recovery of full-time jobs following the great recession.”

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