News and Events in RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment

  • Sending Prisoners to College Will Save You Money

    Apr 11, 2014

    Correctional education works for states because it saves money and shrinks prison populations. It works for prisoners, the public, law enforcement, and the judicial system because educated prisoners are less likely to return to their criminal ways once released.

  • Extending Terrorism Insurance Program Could Save Federal Government Money After Future Attacks

    Apr 10, 2014

    The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act will expire at the end of this year and Congress is considering the appropriate government role in terrorism insurance markets. In a terrorist attack with losses up to $50 billion, the federal government would spend more helping to cover losses than if it had continued to support a national terrorism risk insurance program.

  • ACA Could Change Costs of Auto, Malpractice, and Other Liability Insurance

    Apr 9, 2014

    As more Americans become newly covered under the Affordable Care Act, the cost of providing automobile insurance, workers compensation, and homeowners insurance may decline. Meanwhile, an increase in the number of people using the health care system may trigger a corresponding increase in the number of medical malpractice claims.

  • "Self Driving" Vehicles: Great Benefits, but Barriers to Widespread Adoption

    Mar 24, 2014

    After examining the advantages and disadvantages of autonomous vehicles, RAND researchers determined that the overall societal benefits of this new technology likely outweigh the disadvantages. Senior behavioral scientist James Anderson will present the study results.

  • As U.S. Energy Booms, Don't Forget About Roadway Infrastructure

    Mar 10, 2014

    Natural gas production is growing and many states and communities are reaping the economic benefits. One of the costs, however, will be damage to roads. One hydraulic fracturing operation requires about 600 to 1,100 one-way, heavy truck trips to bring equipment, materials, and sometimes water to and from a well site.

  • Hard Drugs Demand Solid Understanding

    Mar 8, 2014

    Due to budget concerns the federal government just shut down a critical data source that provides insights into abuse, dependence on, and spending on heroin and other hard drugs like crack and methamphetamine.

  • What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 2000-2010

    Mar 7, 2014

    Each year, drug users in the United States spend on the order of $100 billion on cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. This has been stable over the decade, but there have been important shifts. In 2000, users spent much more on cocaine than marijuana; in 2010, the opposite was true.

  • Expiration of Terrorism Risk Insurance Act Could Hurt National Security

    Mar 6, 2014

    The current terrorism risk insurance act will expire in 2014 and Congress again is considering the appropriate government role in terrorism insurance markets. If the act expires and the take-up rate for terrorism insurance falls, then the U.S. would be less resilient to future terrorist attacks.

  • Coastal Regions Could Benefit from Louisiana's Planning and Analysis Framework

    Feb 19, 2014

    Understanding RAND's contributions to the Louisiana CPRA's Master Plan may help policymakers in other coastal regions understand the value of a solid technical foundation to support decisionmaking on strategies to reduce flood risks, rebuild or restore coastal environments, and increase the resilience of developed coastal regions.

  • Prison-Based Education Declined During Economic Downturn

    Feb 18, 2014

    Large states cut spending on prison education programs by an average of 10 percent between the 2009 and 2012 fiscal years, while medium-sized states cut spending by 20 percent. While the drop appears to have resulted from budget cuts prompted by the economic downturn, evidence suggests that the curtailment of prison education could increase prison system costs in the longer term.

  • With Self-Driving Cars, Promise Outweighs Peril

    Jan 29, 2014

    The promise of autonomous vehicles is finally near to being realized and the substantial benefits to society in terms of safety, mobility, and fuel economy cannot be ignored. It is not too early for policy makers to begin to think about the challenges that lie ahead.

  • Strategic Issues Facing Transportation Examines Future Technologies for System Performance

    Jan 7, 2014

    The systematic technology reconnaissance, evaluation, and adoption methodology (STREAM) reflects relevant trends in technologies and their applications. Transportation agencies can use STREAM to identify, assess, shape, and adopt new and emerging technologies to help achieve long-term system performance objectives.

  • Self-Driving Vehicles Offer Potential Benefits, Policy Challenges for Lawmakers

    Jan 6, 2014

    Self-driving vehicles offer the promise of significant benefits to society, but raise several policy challenges, including the need to update insurance liability regulations and privacy concerns such as who will control the data generated by this technology.

  • Marijuana Consumption in Washington State Twice as Large as Previously Estimated

    Dec 18, 2013

    In Washington state, marijuana consumption likely will range from 135 to 225 metric tons during 2013. Understanding the current market should help state policymakers with decisions about the number of marijuana sales licenses to issue, to project tax revenues, and provide a foundation for assessments of legalization.

  • How RAND Supported the Development of Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan

    Dec 12, 2013

    To plan the rebuilding of the Louisiana coastline, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority used a new analytic approach, developed in part by RAND, that incorporates results from state-of-the-art predictive models within a decision tool to formulate and compare alternatives and visualize outcomes and trade-offs for policymakers and stakeholders.

  • The Future of Mobility: Transportation 2030

    Dec 3, 2013

    In this December 2013 Congressional Briefing, Johanna Zmud and Peter Phleps illustrate two distinct scenarios for the future of mobility 17 years from now and how choices that policymakers make today will affect the future of mobility in America.

  • Are Prisoners Serving Time or Wasting Time?

    Nov 26, 2013

    A comprehensive literature review enabled the examination of the association between correctional education and reductions in recidivism, improvements in employment upon release from prison, and the cost-effectiveness of correctional education.

  • Emerging Strategies in Mileage-Based User Fees to Reduce Costs and Increase Acceptance

    Nov 18, 2013

    This paper presents a review of promising mileage-fee design and implementation strategies intended to reduce system costs and foster greater public acceptance.

  • Mileage-Fee Design Strategies to Reduce System Cost and Increase Public Acceptance

    Nov 14, 2013

    As traditional transportation revenue sources primarily based on gas tax continue to dwindle or stay even at best, the notion of transitioning to a vehicle-miles-traveled fee or mileage-based user fee has come under substantial consideration. Some design strategies can reduce system costs and increase public acceptance of mileage-based fees.

  • State and Local Law Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws

    Nov 12, 2013

    There are two sides of the debate over whether or not state and local enforcement of federal immigration laws is effective and appropriate.

  • Simplified RDM Approaches Can Help Local Water Agencies Plan for Climate Change

    Nov 5, 2013

    Robust Decision Making showed El Dorado Irrigation District managers the results of key trade-offs among future strategies and how expectations for future vulnerable conditions can guide decisions to augment their long-term plan.

  • A Year After Sandy, a New Threat to New York City

    Nov 5, 2013

    As residents continue to recover from Superstorm Sandy, they are about to confront dramatic changes in the flood insurance landscape. Changes to federal floodplain maps will mean thousands of New Yorkers will suddenly be living in areas designated as high-risk flood, which will send their insurance rates soaring.

  • Robust Decision Making Enables Colorado River Planners to Ensure Water Reliability

    Nov 5, 2013

    The Colorado River Basin Study evaluated the river system's resiliency and compared resource management options. The Robust Decision Making methodology helped to identify vulnerabilities and compare portfolios of options.

  • Using RDM Strategies for the California Water Plan Update

    Nov 1, 2013

    This report describes a proof-of-concept analysis using Robust Decision Making to evaluate water resource management response packages for California's Central Valley under future uncertainty for the California Water Plan Update 2013.

  • What Mobility Might Look Like in the U.S. in 2030

    Oct 28, 2013

    Mobility — the ability to travel from one location to another — may look very different in the United States in the year 2030. Three key drivers differentiate possible scenarios: the price of oil, the development of environmental regulations, and the amount of highway revenues and expenditures.