New Orleans is experiencing a historically brutal summer, with Sunday being the hottest day on record. While the extreme heat is difficult for everyone to handle, the challenges it poses to the unhoused can be deadly. The Guardian’s Delaney Nolan reports on the struggles of the Crescent City’s unhoused population as they try to survive the dangerously high temperatures. 

“When you don’t have a break – when you’re consistently exposed to extreme heat – that is why it can be deadly.” Janick Lewis, captain of New Orleans emergency medical services, said that last summer they responded to three heat-related calls from houseless people. This year they’ve had 67. According to the New Orleans coroner’s office, since 1 June, 31 people have died who were marked as “homeless” by investigators, meaning an unhoused New Orleanian has died, on average, every three days this summer. While a lack of historic data makes it hard to compare this with previous years, social workers said it was more than usual.

Kids will continue to be transferred to Angola
Louisiana will continue to send children to its maximum-security prison after the state withdrew from an agreement to halt future transfers. The move came at the end of an emergency hearing to remove teenagers already being held at Angola and prevent any future kids from serving time at the adult jail. Verite’s Bobbi-Jeanne Misick reports

David Utter, lead attorney for the teens in the lawsuit, said the state’s rationale for ending the short-term agreement was “deeply flawed.” “The state fails to acknowledge that this is an incredibly broken juvenile justice system,” Utter said. “Rather than address their own problems … they’re gonna blame the kids, and they’re just gonna keep on mistreating kids by putting them in Angola.”

Women are driving the labor market recovery
Prime-working-age women – those between the ages of 25 and 54 – have contributed more than any other group to the rebound in overall labor force participation after the Covid-19 pandemic. Among this group, young women with children under five are leading the recovery. Brookings’ Lauren Bauer and The Hamilton Project’s Sarah Yu Wang explain how these women are going above and beyond in the labor market. 

Since February 2023, the labor force participation rate for prime-age women––those between the ages of 25 and 54––has exceeded its all-time high. … Overall, growth in participation among mothers with young children since 2020 exceeds other prime-age women when differentiated by the age of one’s youngest child. Among mothers with young children, those who are highly educated, married, or foreign-born are much more likely to be labor force participants today relative to their pre-pandemic peak. And those who are highly educated and married are also much more likely than the average worker to have said that they are continuing to telework at least once a week. 

What we measure matters
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps, and Medicaid provide crucial access to food and health care for millions of Americans. But the traditional measures of these programs do a poor job of accounting for the human experiences of accessing benefits. A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains why the federal government should use enhanced metrics to promote a more human-centered system:

For example, how easy is it to apply for benefits? How long must someone wait on the phone to get information about their case? How often do paperwork hurdles trip up a person trying to keep their benefits current? … Federal action is critical to provide comparable data across states and localities that can illustrate how differences in policy, process, and technology affect people’s experiences accessing benefits. States can also help lead the way by adopting their own strong performance measures , to guide their management and decision-making.

Number of the Day
84% –  Share of parents incarcerated in state facilities who live more than 100 miles from their prior homes. This distance makes free or low-cost phone calls a lifeline for parent-child relationships. (Source: Urban Institute