Criminal Justice


RAND research on criminal justice examines such topics as drug policy, counterterrorism, DNA evidence, security trade-offs, victims' rights, and much more.

  • Bus drivers across the West Midlands have been equipped with mini DNA kits to help police track anyone who spits at them or fellow passengers.


    Comparing Forensic DNA Evidence Systems in the United States and England

    Dec 23, 2010

    This comparative analysis of English and U.S. forensic DNA databases and profiling attempted to confirm what many senior U.S. law enforcement officials believe: that the English criminal justice system has capitalized more fully on the crime-fighting potential of DNA evidence.

Explore Criminal Justice

  • Report

    An Assessment of Program Sustainability in Three Bureau of Justice Assistance Criminal Justice Domains

    Some Bureau of Justice Assistance programs sustain operations or funding after initial funding ends. This report outlines strategies for helping programs sustain themselves and recommends a plan for ongoing measurement of sustainability.

    Apr 21, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Working Smarter on Cold Cases: Identifying Factors Associated with Successful Cold Case Investigations

    Cold case squads have garnered much attention; however, they have yet to undergo significant empirical scrutiny.

    Mar 1, 2014

  • Blog

    New Approach to Prison and the War on Drugs

    If you want to reduce cocaine consumption and drug-related crime, you get more bang for the buck if you put money into treatment rather than paying for the increase in incarceration produced by federal mandatory minimum sentences, writes Beau Kilmer.

    Aug 13, 2013

  • Report

    No More Rights Without Remedies: An Impact Evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute's Victims' Rights Clinics

    This report describes how representation from National Crime Victim Law Institute clinics affects the exercise of rights in individual cases, legislation, court rules, appellate decisions, and media reporting.

    Dec 27, 2012

  • Journal Article

    How Much Difference Does the Lawyer Make in Philadelphia Murder Cases?

    One in five indigent murder defendants in Philadelphia are randomly assigned representation by public defenders while the remainder receive court-appointed private attorneys. Compared to appointed counsel, public defenders in Philadelphia reduce their clients' murder conviction rate by 19%, lower the probability of a life sentence by 62%, and reduce overall expected time served in prison by 24%.

    Oct 1, 2012

  • Blog

    A Final Word on the NDAA

    While I have no doubt of Levin's determination to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens, incremental adjustments and seemingly small compromises, each sensible under the circumstances, can have a cumulative effect that erodes the very liberty we are trying to protect, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    May 7, 2012

  • Project

    Analyzing the Effect of Judicial Reform on Mexico's Criminal Justice System

    The ongoing reforms of Mexico's judicial system should lead to a more transparent and efficient criminal justice system. An analysis of reforms to date indicates that crime has gone down where enacted, but citizens still don't trust their local police.

    Apr 11, 2012

  • Blog

    The NDAA Makes It Harder to Fight Terrorism

    Much of the debate over this bill has focused on the political issue of executive authority versus rule of law. In doing so it has overlooked the indirect and insidious effects the new law may have on the United States' largely successful counterterrorist campaign, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Feb 1, 2012

  • Report

    Cold-Case Investigations: An Analysis of Current Practices and Factors Associated with Successful Outcomes

    This report discusses cold-case investigations in the United States and examines factors associated with successful ones, reporting a survey of law enforcement agencies about their cold-case investigations and an analysis of four agencies' files.

    Oct 26, 2011

  • Blog

    California's Prisoner Shuffle

    The state needs to deal with prison overcrowding and inadequate medical care for prisoners in ways that don't simply transfer the burden to county criminal justice systems and the healthcare safety nets of local communities, writes Lois Davis.

    Aug 19, 2011

  • Report

    Case Weights for Federal Defender Organizations

    This report presents a system of case weights for estimating the funding and staffing requirements of federal defender organizations, discusses factors that might influence defender time expenditures, and describes how such weights should be used.

    Aug 18, 2011

  • Multimedia

    Rubin Explores Hidden Scale of Serious and Organized Crime

    In a TEDx presentation, Jennifer Rubin, Director, Communities, Safety and Justice, RAND Europe, explores the hidden nature of the scale of serious and organized crime and suggests methods that could help to address these issues.

    Jun 3, 2011

  • Report

    Radicalisation of Extremist Prisoners Remains Public Safety Concern

    In 2010, RAND Europe provided a preliminary overview of the challenges posed by radicalised prisoners, and to explore the potential for radicalisation of young European Muslims in the prison environment. The research draws on the body of existing prison theory literature, historical case examples and contemporary sources. It focuses on the potential in prison for extremist activity, including radicalisation, and highlights a number of areas for further research and action.

    Mar 11, 2010

  • Report

    Assessing the Evidence Base of the New UK Drugs Strategy

    As part of the National Audit Office's value for money study on "Tackling Problem Drug Use", which focuses on local authorities' capacity and capability to effectively tackle problem drug use through the delivery of local services, RAND Europe has reviewed of the evidence base underpinning the British government's National Drugs Strategy. The study reviews the evidence drawn upon in the Strategy and identifies gaps in the literature and science around drug policy that remain to be addressed and which could help to inform future plans for addressing drug misuse.

    Feb 22, 2010

  • Report

    Local Authority Commissioning: Understanding the use of information and evidence by commissioners of services

    This exploratory research examines the types of data and information Local Authorities draw upon to make commissioning decisions.

    Oct 7, 2009

  • News Release

    Record on Research About Criminal Behavior Corrected

    News materials distributed by the several law enforcement groups in California about the state's proposed budget have incorrectly cited RAND Corporation criminal justice research.

    Jul 24, 2009

  • Research Brief

    Assessing Parolees' Health Care Needs and Potential Access to Health Care Services in California

    California parolees' health care, mental health care, and drug- and alcohol-treatment needs, as well as where parolees go when they return to counties, place significant demands on counties' safety-net resources and on their ability meet those needs.

    Jun 17, 2009

  • Report

    Tackling Violent Crime: Findings from Regional Workshops

    Much of the responsibility for delivering the Home Office Action Plan for Tackling Violence lies with local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs). The NAO commissioned RAND Europe to facilitate a series of practitioner workshops across England to explore barriers to local multi-agency working, which might hamper CDRPs' ability to reduce violent crime. The need for greater involvement and data sharing by health agencies - particularly accident and emergency departments - was prevalent, as was the importance of developing analytical capacity within CDRPs in order to better understand the nature of violence and effective practices for addressing crime and disorder.

    Apr 29, 2009

  • Report

    Estimating the Size of the Global Drug Market: A Demand-Side Approach

    Global retail expenditures on cannabis range from €40B-€120B. Our best estimate is close to half of the previous global estimate of approximately €125B.

    Apr 21, 2009