Prison Reform

  • U.S. President Barack Obama tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015

    Commentary

    Obama Commutes Sentences of 46 Drug Offenders. Now for the Hard Part

    Last month, President Obama commuted more sentences in a single day than any president since Lyndon Johnson. But commutation doesn't erase a criminal conviction.

    Aug 10, 2015

  • The U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC

    Blog

    The 2015 Summer Reading List for Congress

    With Capitol Hill slowing for August recess, this list of must-read research and commentaries will help ensure that policymakers are ready to dive right back in this fall.

    Aug 5, 2015

  • Sunshine shining in prison cell window

    Project

    Self-inflicted Deaths in Custody Amongst 18-24 Year Olds: Staff Experience, Knowledge and Views

    To inform Lord Harris’s Review into Self-inflicted Deaths in NOMS Custody amongst 18-24 year olds, RAND Europe and the Prisons Research Centre and Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge examined staff experience and knowledge of prevention techniques.

    Jul 1, 2015

  • Report

    Public Safety Realignment in Twelve California Counties

    California legislation grants flexibility to counties in implementing public safety realignment. This report determines whether counties continued and expanded existing practices or took the opportunity to change correctional business as usual.

    Jun 29, 2015

  • Group of friends making a toast

    Commentary

    Could You Lose Your License to Drink?

    Criminal justice reform requires creating demand for bold ideas about simultaneously reducing incarceration and crime. Given the prominent role alcohol plays in crime — and the strong results from South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety program — suspending one's “license to drink” seems well worth considering.

    Jun 23, 2015

  • Offenders read and write papers inside the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary library located in the Darrington Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice men's prison in Rosharon, Texas

    Commentary

    Using Education to Stop the Prison Revolving Door

    Providing education and vocational training to inmates is a cost-effective way to reduce recidivism rates, thus shrinking prison populations and easing the strain on prison budgets. Education is far less expensive than incarceration.

    Sep 30, 2014

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Commencement Weekend Policy Dialogue on Criminal Justice

    In this podcast, recorded during the Pardee RAND Graduate School’s 2014 commencement weekend, Susan L. Marquis, the school’s dean, moderates a policy discussion on criminal justice with a panel of experts.

    Jun 20, 2014

  • Serving Time or Wasting Time?

    Report

    Are Prisoners Serving Time or Wasting Time?

    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.

    May 22, 2014

  • a man holding a book on his lap

    Commentary

    Sending Prisoners to College Will Save You Money

    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.

    Apr 11, 2014

  • Mexican migrants migrants clamber atop a freight train bound for the U.S.-Mexican border

    Report

    RAND Review Examines Immigration, Defense Policies, the ACA, and Correctional Education

    Stories in RAND's flagship journal discuss U.S. and Mexican immigration and labor reforms; British, French, and German defense policies in the face of austerity; seven ramifications of the Affordable Care Act; and the cost-effectiveness of correctional education programs.

    Nov 26, 2013

  • part of an infographic about prison education programs

    Periodical

    Serving Time or Wasting Time?

    Prisoners say they need education and job training to reintegrate into society. They're right: 68 percent of inmates in state prisons lack a high school diploma. Correctional education programs improve job prospects upon release from prison, reduce recidivism, and save taxpayer dollars.

    Nov 26, 2013

  • Inmates sit in a classroom at the Orange County jail

    Commentary

    To Stop Prisons' Revolving Door

    If California wants to reduce its prison population, it needs to address recidivism, and the best way to do this is through education and job training. Cutting education and vocational training may seem like a tempting way to plug short-term budget gaps, but it actually ends up costing the system more over time.

    Sep 16, 2013

  • News Release

    Education and Vocational Training in Prisons Reduces Recidivism, Improves Job Outlook

    Inmates who participate in correctional education programs have a 43 percent lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not. Employment after release is 13 percent higher among prisoners who participated in either academic or vocational education programs than those who did not.

    Aug 22, 2013

  • prison

    Research Brief

    How Effective is Correctional Education?

    One strategy to counter recidivism is to provide education to inmates while incarcerated so that they have the knowledge, training, and skills to support a successful return to their communities.

    Aug 22, 2013

  • prisoners attending a class

    Report

    Education and Vocational Training in Prisons Reduces Recidivism, Improves Job Outlook

    Inmates who participate in correctional education programs have a 43 percent lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not. Employment after release is 13 percent higher among prisoners who participated in either academic or vocational education programs than those who did not.

    Aug 22, 2013

  • inmates outside the Orleans Parish Prison

    Commentary

    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

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    California's Prisoners Dilemma

    At this January 2012 Policy Forum, experts discuss the public health implications of a U.S. Supreme Court order to reduce the prison population by more than 30,000.

    Jan 24, 2012

  • Commentary

    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

  • Journal Article

    The Current State of Quality of Care Measurement in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

    California's prisons, which are operating under receivership for medical care, need help in improving the quality of health care they provide.

    Apr 1, 2011

  • Report

    Federal Death Penalty Cases Are Not Racially Biased

    Federal prosecutors' decisions about whether to seek the death penalty are not racially biased but instead can be very accurately predicted based on the characteristics of the crime, according to an analysis of data from 1995 to 2000.

    Jul 11, 2006