Author Archives: afscme

What Public-Sector Employers Need to Know About Promotional Practices, Procedures, and Tests in Public Safety Promotional Processes: After Ricci v. DeStefano

Source: Richard E. Biddle and Daniel A. Biddle, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 42 no. 2, June 2013
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From the abstract:
In June 2009, the Ricci v. DeStefano case was decided by five of the nine U.S. Supreme Court judges. This case impacts public-sector employers by expanding on the rule called a “strong basis in evidence.” Under this rule, a public-sector employer cannot engage in certain activities for the asserted purpose of avoiding or remedying unintentional disparate impact, unless the employer has a “strong basis in evidence” to believe it will be subject to disparate-impact liability. The evidence for this rule must be in place before a public-sector employer takes a race-conscious action to minimize adverse impact. This article critically evaluates the test validity discussion that occurred in the Ricci case; addresses topics relevant to the new rule not covered by the decision, such as the cutoff used, weights used, differentiating requirements of the rank-ordered list, and the rule of three; and describes guidelines for conducting a particular kind of study in an employment context, called a Croson Study, that can be used to gather a “strong basis in evidence.” This article identifies circumstances under which a Croson Study is needed, and how to do it that will allow public-sector employers to evaluate whether they may be justified—using the Supreme Court’s “strong-basis-in-evidence” rule—to institute race-conscious remedies under Title VII.

Verbal Abuse From Nurse Colleagues and Work Environment of Early Career Registered Nurses

Source: Wendy Budin, Carol Brewer, Christine T. Kovner, Ying-Yu Chao, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Early View, 2013

Verbal abuse against nurses in the workplace, including abuse by other nurses, is both common and well-documented. The negative effects of that abuse and the adverse impact on patient care are also well-documented. Now, a study of newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs) finds that nurses who are verbally abused by nursing colleagues report lower job satisfaction, unfavorable perceptions of their work environment, and greater intent to leave their current job….Intimidating and disruptive aggressive behaviors in the nursing workplace such as bullying, harassment, and verbal abuse contribute to medical errors, poor patient outcomes, and nurse turnover….
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press release

Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2011-12

Source: Allen Beck, Marcus Berzofsky, Rachel Caspar, Christopher Krebs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 241399, May 16, 2013

From the summary:
Presents data from the National Inmate Survey (NIS), 2011-12, conducted in 233 state and federal prisons, 358 local jails, and 15 special correctional facilities (operated by U.S. Armed Forces, Indian tribes, or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)) between February 2011 and May 2012, with a sample of 92,449 inmates age 18 or older and 1,738 inmates ages 16 to 17. The report ranks facilities according to the prevalence of sexual victimization, as required under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79). The prevalence of victimization, as reported by inmates during a personal interview, is based on sexual activity in the 12 months prior to the interview or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months. This report includes estimates of nonconsensual sexual acts, abusive sexual contacts, inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate victimization, and level of coercion. It provides the first-ever national-level estimates of sexual victimization of juvenile inmates ages 16 to 17 held in adult facilities. The report also presents findings on reported sexual victimization by selected demographic and other inmate characteristics, including measures of serious mental illness for the first time.

– In 2011-12, an estimated 4.0% of state and federal prison inmates and 3.2% of jail inmates reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff in the past 12 months or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months.
– Patterns of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization in 2011-12 were consistent with patterns in past surveys. Rates reported by prison and jail inmates were higher among females than males, higher among whites than blacks, and higher among inmates with a college degree than those who had not completed high school.
– Eleven male prisons, 1 female prison, and 9 jails were identified as high-rate facilities based on the prevalence of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization in 2011-12. Eight male prisons, 4 female prisons, and 12 jails were identified as high rate based on the prevalence of staff sexual misconduct. Each of these facilities had a lower bound of the 95%-confidence interval that was at least 55% higher than the average rate among comparable facilities.
– An estimated 1.8% of juveniles ages 16 to 17 held in prisons and jails reported being victimized by another inmate, compared to 2.0% of adults in prisons and 1.6% of adults in jails.
– Among state and federal prison inmates, an estimated 6.3% of those identified with serious psychological distress reported that they were sexually victimized by another inmate. In comparison, among prisoners with no indication of mental illness, 0.7% reported being victimized by another inmate.
See also:
Press Release
ASCII file
Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 40K)

Jail Inmates at Midyear 2012 – Statistical Tables

Source: Todd Minton, Bureau of justice Statistics, NCJ 241264, May 22, 2013

From the summary:
Presents the number of jails and jail inmates at midyear 2012. This report describes annual change in jail populations and patterns of change from 2000 through 2012. It shows rated capacity of jails and percent of capacity occupied. The report also provides estimates of admissions to jails, details the volume of movement among the jail population, and presents the distribution of jail inmates by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. It includes information about the effect of California’s public safety realignment on jail populations. The report also includes standard errors for jail estimates.

– After three consecutive years of decline in the jail inmate population, the number of persons confined in county and city jails (744,524) increased by 1.2% (or 8,923 inmates) between midyear 2011 and midyear 2012.
– Rated capacity in jails reached 886,947 beds at midyear 2012, an increase of 0.8% (7,225 beds) from 879,722 beds in midyear 2011.
– Local jails admitted an estimated 11.6 million persons during the 12-month period ending June 30, 2012, which was similar to 2011 (11.8 million) and down from 13.6 million in 2008.
See also:
Press Release
ASCII file
Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 17K)

Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012

Source: Allen Beck, David Cantor, John Hartge, Tim Smith, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 241708, June 6, 2013

From the summary:
Presents data from the 2012 National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC), conducted in 326 juvenile confinement facilities between February and September 2012, with a sample of 8,707 adjudicated youth. The report ranks facilities according to the prevalence of sexual victimization, as required under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79). The prevalence of victimization, as reported by youth during a personal interview, is based on sexual activity in the 12 months prior to the interview or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months. This report provides state- and national-level estimates of juvenile sexual victimization by type of activity, including estimates of youth-on-youth nonconsensual sexual contact, staff sexual misconduct, and level of coercion. It also explores sexual victimization by the characteristics of both the perpetrator and youth at high risk of victimization, location and time of incidents, and nature of the relationship between youth and facility staff prior to sexual contact.

– An estimated 9.5% of adjudicated youth in state juvenile facilities and state contract facilities (representing 1,720 youth nationwide) reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another youth or staff in the past 12 months or since admission, if less than 12 months.
– About 2.5% of youth (450 nationwide) reported an incident involving another youth, and 7.7% (1,390) reported an incident involving facility staff.
– An estimated 3.5% of youth reported having sex or other sexual contact with facility staff as a result of force or other forms of coercion, while 4.7% of youth reported sexual contact with staff without any force, threat, or explicit form of coercion.
– Thirteen facilities were identified as high-rate based on the prevalence of sexual victimization by youth or staff. Rates in each of these facilities had a 95%-confidence interval with a lower bound that was at least 35% higher than the average rate of sexual victimization among facilities nationwide.
– About 67.7% of youth victimized by another youth reported experiencing physical force or threat of force, 25.2% were offered favors or protection, and 18.1% were given drugs or alcohol to engage in sexual contact.
See also:
Press Release
ASCII file
Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format)

Rape in the Fields

Source: PBS, Frontline, June 25, 2013

Lowell Bergman investigates the hidden reality of rape on the job for immigrant women working in America’s fields, farms and factories. …

Watch Rape in the Fields on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

En Español:
Violación de un sueño

Luis Gutierrez: Exploitation is the “Ugly Sin” of Immigration
June 25, 2013, 9:29 pm ET
Immigration reform is rarely, if ever, looked at through the eyes of migrant women who face sexual exploitation on a daily basis, says the Democratic congressman.

Dolores Huerta: An “Epidemic in the Fields”
June 25, 2013, 9:28 pm ET
The sexual abuse can be traced to the vulnerability that most farmworker women face, especially if they’re undocumented, says the labor leader and civil rights activist.

Bill Tamayo: Criminal Cases Needed to End Immigrant Abuse

June 25, 2013, 9:28 pm ET
Criminal convictions, which have been lacking in cases of rape in the fields, need to be part of the government’s response to the sexual abuse of farmworker women, says the EEOC attorney.

Manuel Cunha, Jr.: Harassment Not “A Big Problem” On Farms

June 25, 2013, 9:28 pm ET
The president of the Nisei Farmers League says that while harassment might be an issue for some farm workers, the scope of the problem is no greater in agriculture than in other industries.

Why Have There Been So Few Sexual Assault Prosecutions In the Agriculture Industry?
June 25, 2013, 9:25 pm ET · by Hannah Mintz , Investigative Reporting Program, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Only one out of every 20 rape victims will ever see their attacker convicted of a felony. For undocumented women, the odds are even worse.

Video: Hidden in the Harvest
June 25, 2013, 9:25 pm ET
Three women came to the U.S. looking for a better life, but what they found was far from the American dream.

Courting Foodies: The Modern “Fair Food” Movement
June 25, 2013, 9:24 pm ET · by Sarah Childress
To succeed, organizers need foodies to care about farm workers. The problem? Most don’t.

Female Workers Face Rape, Harassment In U.S. Agriculture Industry

June 25, 2013, 2:39 am ET · by Bernice Yeung and Grace Rubenstein, The Center for Investigative Reporting
Hundreds of female farmworkers have complained to the federal government about being raped and assaulted, verbally and physically harassed on the job, while law enforcement has done almost nothing to prosecute potential crimes.

The EEOC: At the “Vanguard” of Fight Against Discriminatio
June 24, 2013, 10:26 pm ET · by Jason M. Breslow
The federal agency on the forefront of defending migrant workers from sexual abuse receives thousands of complaints each year, and operates on a budget that costs less that a fighter jet.

For Shadow Victims of Violence, the “U Visa” Can Help
June 24, 2013, 7:17 pm ET · by Sarah Childress
Undocumented abuse victims can apply to stay in the U.S., but some risk deportation by coming forward.

The Hidden Story of Rape on the Job in America

June 10, 2013, 11:06 am ET · by Patrice Taddonio
For the women who pick and handle the food we eat every day, sexual assault often comes with the job.

Creating a Federal Right to Vote

Source: Joshua Field, Center for American Progress, June 25, 2013

From the summary:
…In a 5–4 decision, the High Court gutted a law that was renewed by Congress just seven years ago, and has protected voters from—among other acts of discrimination—purposeful vote dilution, overly restrictive voting procedures, and voter intimidation. The Court held that the formula that identifies the states and localities that are required to “preclear” their voting procedures and laws is unconstitutional and can no longer be used as a basis to subject those states and localities to oversight. Although the Court admits that “voting discrimination still exists,” its decision currently leaves voters with fewer protections against potentially discriminatory voting laws.

The Court’s decision is clearly a blow for voting rights, but it also serves as a wake-up call for Americans to become educated about the lack of protections in place to combat voting discrimination. Even with the Voting Rights Act, lawmakers have played politics with state voting laws and imposed political ideology at the expense of disenfranchised Americans. We should consider what legal protections remain for voters, as well as what can be done to ensure that all eligible voters can freely and easily participate in our democracy. …

Forever in Your Debt: Who Has Student Loan Debt, and Who’s Worried?

Source: Caroline Ratcliffe, Signe-Mary McKernan, Urban Institute, June 2013

From the abstract:
Outstanding student loan balances in the United States total roughly $1 trillion, with student loan debt following one of every five adults. People across the income, age, and educational attainment spectrums have student loan debt, but it is particularly concentrated in some groups. African Americans and Hispanics are about twice as likely to have student loan debt as whites. Fifty-seven percent of people with student loans are concerned that they may be unable to repay that debt. This concern cuts across demographic and economic groups but is more prevalent among people with children, with lower household incomes, and women.
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Searching for Relief: Desperate Borrowers and the Growing Student Loan “Debt Relief” Industry
Source: National Consumer Law Center, June 19, 2013

A student loan “debt relief” industry has sprung up in response to the demand for student loan borrower assistance and this report documents multiple problems as well as potential violations of consumer federal and state laws. Given the many misrepresentations uncovered, it is unlikely that these companies are providing quality services in return for the money they are charging. Such practices severely compound the pain of vulnerable consumers seeking to find resolutions to difficult student debt problems. The U.S. Department of Education should make it easier for student loan borrowers to access its borrower assistance programs, and federal and state authorities should ensure that these companies comply with the law so that consumers truly understand what services they are buying.

States Missing Out on Millions in Medicaid for Prisoners

Source: Christine Vestal,, June 25, 2013

Only a dozen states have taken advantage of a long-standing option to stick the federal government with at least half the cost of hospitalizations and nursing home stays of state prison inmates. The other states have left tens of millions of federal dollars on the table, either because they didn’t know about a federal rule dating to 1997 or they were unable to write the laws and administrative processes to take advantage of it….

…Why have so few states and localities taken advantage of the opportunity to collect millions in federal money to defray correctional health care costs? Like everything else connected with Medicaid, the rules are complicated and implementing the program requires cooperation among at least three separate agencies: corrections, Medicaid and local social services.

Another problem is that inmates don’t necessarily want to cooperate with prison personnel once they explain they are trying to defray some of their costs by drawing on federal funds….Another reason is that state corrections agencies didn’t find out about the ruling right away. The announcement first went from Washington to federal regional Medicaid officials who interpreted the ruling before sending it to Medicaid agencies in the states. Medicaid agencies then further analyzed the ruling before alerting the corrections agencies. Some corrections departments never got the memo.

Delaware, Louisiana and Oklahoma were the first states to use Medicaid for inmate hospitalization. As word of mouth traveled, a few more states enacted the needed laws and administrative procedures….As a result, most states likely will not be prepared to take advantage of it for the 2014 expansion, Strugar-Fritsch said. But once states understand how much federal money they’re leaving on the table, most will do what it takes to set up the needed systems, she predicted….

2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation, June 2013

From the abstract:
Tracking 16 indicators of child well-being, the 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book finds that children in the United States continue to make gains in the areas of education and health despite a growing poverty rate. This year’s Data Book also offers expanded coverage of America’s youngest children, adding to the ongoing national conversation on early childhood education. New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts ranked highest for overall child well-being in the report, with Nevada, Mississippi and New Mexico ranked lowest.
See also:
– Read the Data Book and related resources
– See national and state profiles on key indicators of child well-being
– Find out how your state ranks
– Review regional and state rankings quickly with the interactive KIDS COUNT data wheel
View the KIDS COUNT Publications and Resources Series