Jessica Saunders

Photo of Jessica Saunders
Behavioral Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. and M.A. in criminal justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; B.A. in psychology, Oberlin College

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

More Experts


Jessica Saunders is a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research interests include policing, immigration and crime, developmental criminology, evaluation research, and quantitative methods. Prior to joining RAND, Saunders was an assistant professor at Arizona State University and had seven years of experience working in nonprofit applied policy research for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center in New York City and the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. Saunders received her Ph.D. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluation of Open-Air Drug Market Interventions
  • Improving Correctional Education
  • Evaluation of Predictive Policing
  • Enabling the Police to Serve the Needs of 21st Century Israel
  • Estimating the Causal Effects of Interacting with Pet Dogs and Cats

Selected Publications

Michael White, John Cooper, Jessica Saunders, and Anthony Raganella, "Motivations for becoming a police officer: Re-assessing officer attitudes after six years on the street," Journal of Criminal Justice, 38:520-530, 2010

Jessica Saunders, "Understanding random effects in group-based trajectory modeling: An application of Moffitt's Developmental Taxonomy," Journal of Drug Issues: Special Issue on Approaches and Issues in Longitudinal Analysis of Substance Use and Related Behaviors, 40(1):195-220, 2010

Michael White and Jessica Saunders "Race and police use of the TASER: Exploring evidence from multiple data sources," in Steven Rice and Michael White, Race, Ethnicity, and Policing: The Issues, Methods, Research, and Future, NYU Press, 2009

Jessica Saunders, Tracking the Development of Delinquency, LFB Scholarly Press, 2009

Michael White, Jessica Saunders, Christopher Fisher, and Jeff Mellow, "Exploring inmate reentry in a local jail setting: Implications for outreach, service use and recidivism," Crime and Delinquency, 2008

Honors & Awards

  • Research Fellowship, Rudin Foundation, New York City, NY
  • Presidential Research Scholarship, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
  • Quantitative Analysis of Crime Fellowship, Bureau of Justice Statistics