About the Safety and Justice Program

The RAND Safety and Justice Program conducts research on topics related to public safety and the performance of the U.S. criminal justice system for federal law enforcement and other agencies, urban police departments, and other clients. Policy and research areas include policing, law enforcement, and corrections; crime, gangs, and violence prevention; drug abuse and drug policy; administration of justice, law, courts, and governance; and occupational and transportation safety.

Selected News and Publications

  • 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.

  • How Big Is the U.S. Market for Illegal Drugs?

    Mar 10, 2014

    In order to think sensibly about illicit drug markets, policymakers need to have some idea of how big those markets are. This helps estimate revenues going to criminal organizations, improve treatment and prevention decisions, and evaluate drug policies.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Correctional Education in the United States: How Effective Is It, and How Can We Move the Field Forward?

    Jan 1, 2014

    Assesses the effectiveness of correctional education for both incarcerated adults and juveniles, presents the results of a survey of U.S. state correctional education directors, and offers recommendations for improving correctional education.