Sentencing decisions—from community orders in the UK to mental health courts, mandatory minimum sentences, and "three strikes" laws in the United States—are increasingly under the microscope to lower crime rates and reduce recidivism. RAND has conducted evaluations of specific sentencing and corrections policies since well before the first three-strikes laws passed in 1994, and has reported on the costs and benefits of various sentencing laws, including whether they do in fact reduce crime.

  • man being arrested for drunk driving after an accident


    California's Misguided Approach

    Despite the frequency with which people are convicted of multiple DUI offenses, California continues to require that all individuals with a DUI attend a 30- or 60-hour education program. However, these programs aren't that effective.

    Mar 17, 2014

  • alley, alleyway, , barbed wire", couch, settee, inner city, abandoned, building, graffiti, industrial, industry, decay, nobody, red, old, vandalism, grunge, dark, vintage, retro, urban, metal, destruction, structure, dirty, weathered, view, decline, slum, demolition, smashed, criminal, cracked, rusty, exterior, damage, crime, busted, deserted, abandon, aged, dangerous, empty, city, damaged


    Program Examines European Communities, Safety, and Justice Policy

    RAND Europe's program of research on Communities, Safety and Justice Policy helps decisionmakers at national and pan-European levels assess threats and identify and develop policies to improve safety, security and other outcomes, reducing harms to communities caused by crime, violence, intolerance, substance misuse and illicit markets.

    Feb 6, 2014

  • inmates outside the Orleans Parish Prison


    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

  • teens working together outside


    Advancing Social Outcomes: Private Investors Could Be Part of the Solution

    Under a Social Impact Bond, private investors — rather than the government — provide up-front funding for programs that tackle such challenges as recidivism or homelessness. If these programs succeed, the government pays some of the savings back to the investors.

    May 14, 2013

  • Research Brief

    An Innovative Way to Curb Problem Drinking: South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project

    South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project, in which individuals with alcohol-involved offenses submit to breathalyzer tests twice per day or wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet at all times, reduced repeat DUI arrests at the county level by 12 percent.

    Dec 12, 2012

  • liquor and keys

    Journal Article

    Frequent Alcohol Testing Program Reduces DUI and Domestic Violence Arrests

    In its first six years, an innovative alcohol monitoring program called the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Project reduced county-level repeat DUI arrests by 12 percent and domestic violence arrests by 9 percent.

    Dec 6, 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

  • 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

  • Research Brief

    Evaluation of the Social Impact Bond: Lessons from planning and early implementation at HMP Peterborough

    RAND Europe has evaluated the world's first Social Impact Bond (SIB), an innovative payment-by-results mechanism to fund public services which aims to reduce reoffending by prisoners. This report presents the initial findings of the evaluation.

    Dec 14, 2011

  • Hands holding seedling in a group


    Investing in Social Outcomes to Fund Public Services

    At a time when government finances are stretched there is growing interest in finding new ways to fund public services. In 2010 the first ever Social Impact Bond was launched in the UK to provide investors who had funded government interventions for imprisoned offenders with a portion of the resultant savings.

    Nov 4, 2011

  • gavel and scales of justice


    Making the Civil Justice System More Efficient and Equitable

    The RAND Institute for Civil Justice (ICJ) conducts research on all aspects of civil justice, from trends in litigation and jury verdicts to punitive damages, compensation systems, and alternative dispute resolution. Directly or indirectly, civil justice issues have an impact on us all.

    Oct 3, 2011

  • News Release

    Recidivism No Higher Among Deportable Immigrants Than Similar Nondeportable Immigrants

    Deportable immigrants released from the Los Angeles County jail system were no more likely to be rearrested than similar nondeportable immigrants released during the same period.

    Feb 22, 2008

  • Report

    A Review of the Literature on the Effectiveness of Community Orders

    Community orders, authorised in the UK by the 2003 Criminal Justice Act, allow judges and magistrates to customise community sentences for each offender. The Act requires judges to incorporate one or more of twelve provisions that are congruent with the seriousness of the offence, and the risk of re-offending During the last three quarters of 2005, community orders comprised slightly over half of all community sentences issued, yet there was little rigorous research on their impact. RAND Europe was commissioned by the NAO to conduct a selected review of the literature of community sentencing, focusing especially on benefits of community orders. The review focused on assessing their effectiveness at reducing reoffending and/or reconviction; meeting other sentencing requirements such as punishment of offenders, protection of the public, rehabilitation and reparation.

    Jan 10, 2008

  • Report

    From the Outside In: Shaping the International Criminal Court

    Assess current U.S. policy regarding the International Criminal Court and discusses the effectiveness of other, perhaps more robust, policies.

    Aug 14, 2007

  • Blog

    Prison Health Care

    California's ill and aging prison population needs improved health care – not just as a matter of compassion, but to protect the health and safety of the rest of us, writes Lois M. Davis.

    Jul 12, 2007

  • News Release

    Mental Health Courts Have the Potential to Save Taxpayers Money, RAND Study for CSG Justice Center Finds

    March 1, 2007 news release: Mental Health Courts Have the Potential to Save Taxpayers Money, RAND Study for CSG Justice Center Finds.

    Mar 1, 2007

  • Report

    Mental Health Courts Have the Potential to Save Taxpayers Money

    Special courts that sentence people with mental illness who are convicted of misdemeanors and low-level felonies to treatment instead of jail have the potential to save taxpayers money.

    Feb 22, 2007

  • Journal Article

    The Efficacy of the Rio Hondo DUI Court: A 2-Year Field Experiment

    This study reports results from an evaluation of the experimental Rio Hondo driving under the influence (DUI) court of Los Angeles County, California.

    Jan 1, 2007

  • Report

    “Low-Level” Drug Offenders Often Had Serious Criminal History

    Voter-approved initiatives in Arizona and California have diverted low-level drug offenders from prison and jail. However, many of those imprisoned before the initiatives were approved were more serious criminal offenders than the “low-level” label implies.

    Jun 7, 2005

  • gavel and laptop


    Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance Focuses on Nexus of Ethics, Law, and Profitability

    The RAND Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance, or CCEG, is committed to improving public understanding of corporate ethics, law, and governance, and to identifying specific ways that businesses can operate ethically, legally, and profitably at the same time.

    Jan 1, 2005