Jessica Saunders is a criminologist at the RAND Corporation with over fifeteen years of experience conducting research related to the criminal justice system. Her research interests include policing, immigration and crime, developmental criminology, evaluation research, and quantitative methods. Saunders has led several large-scale criminal justice and prevention evaluation efforts, including a multi-site open-air drug market intervention evaluation, NIJ's predictive policing evaluation, a large scale NIJ-funded school safety program evaluation, the Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center for Small, Rural, Tribal, and Border Criminal Justice Systems, an examination of the Israel National Police, and the effectiveness of correctional education. She spent five months in Afghanistan studying both the development and effectiveness of Afghan Local Police and U.S. military women working in combat positions for NATO Special Forces.
Saunders has authored a series of statistical and methodological pieces on emerging statistical techniques for measuring the development of delinquency and youth violence and their implications for youth intervention evaluations, as well as advanced new quantitative methods to overcome sampling bias when using quasi-experimental and observational data at the individual and geographic level in evaluation research.
Saunders teaches criminology and public policy at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and prior to joining RAND, she was an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 and was the recipient of the Rudin Fellowship for applied criminal justice research from 2005 through 2007.
Michael Robbins, Jessica Saunders, Beau Kilmer, "A Framework for synthetic control methods with high-dimensional, micro-data: Evaluating a neighborhood-specific crime intervention," Journal of the American Statistical Association, 2106
Jessica Saunders, Priscillia Hunt, and John Hollywood, "Putting predictions into practice: An evaluation of Chicago's Predictive Policing Program," Journal of Experimental Criminology, 2016
John MacDonald and Jessica Saunders, "Are immigrant youth less violent? Specifying the reasons and mechanisms," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 641:125-147, 2012
Jessica Saunders, Tracking the Development of Delinquency, LFB Scholarly Press, 2009
Jessica Saunders, Russell Lundberg, Anthony Braga, Greg Ridgeway, and Jeremy Miles, "). A synthetic control approach to evaluating place-based crime interventions," Journal of Quantitative Criminology