Public Safety

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RAND work on public safety issues ranges from policing and prisons to violent crime and the illegal drug trade, as well as homeland security and emergency preparedness. RAND research helps inform policy debates that are often riddled with arguments driven not by evidence but by emotion and ideology.

  • Activists, demanding justice for the shooting death of teen Michael Brown, raise their hands as they are blocked by police from entering the courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri, photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters

    Commentary

    In Ferguson's Wake, How a Data-Driven Approach Can Improve Police-Community Relations

    Sep 16, 2014

    Community leaders and police departments have a responsibility to their citizens to address questions about their policing practices, such as: What are the most significant areas of concern? How severe are the problems? What are the most effective solutions?

  • Thinkstock_Fotolia_53041025

    Report

    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.

Explore Public Safety

  • News Release

    New Tool Can Help Identify Nations That May Be Vulnerable to Ebola or Other Public Health Emergencies

    Public health experts can identify nations that are vulnerable to the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks of Ebola or other emergencies by using a screening tool that evaluates a nation's strengths across a wide range of measures such as political strength and health care capabilities.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Geographic Targeting, Message Content and Character Limitation Subgroup Report

    This Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) report analyses geo-targeting, message content, and character limitations of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).

    Feb 27, 2015

  • Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and former DHS secretaries Michael Chertoff (R) and Tom Ridge (L) speak to reporters on the need for Congress to pass a full-year appropriations bill for the Homeland Security Department in February 2015

    Testimony

    Watchdog Recommendations to Improve Homeland Security

    The challenges facing the Department of Homeland Security are evolving and create the need for new preparedness and response capabilities. The case for change includes reform recommendations for five critical areas.

    Feb 26, 2015

  • Flood waters from Hurricane Isaac partially submerge homes in Lafitte, Louisiana neighborhoods in August 2012

    Commentary

    Future of Coastal Flooding

    President Obama's executive order that directs federal agencies to plan and build for higher flood levels as they construct new projects in flood-prone regions will affect hundreds of billions of dollars of future public works projects. In an ideal world, planners would estimate the benefits and costs for each project, taking into account everything from the details of the local landscape to the potential for adaptive responses over time.

    Feb 25, 2015

  • Government health workers administering blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 2014

    Report

    Mitigating the Impact of Ebola in Potential Hot Zones

    The experiences of African countries that successfully contained Ebola early can be informative for government officials, international organizations, and aid agencies seeking to capture the underlying factors that affect countries' resilience to such outbreaks and can help them prepare for high-risk scenarios.

    Feb 23, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism February 19, 2015

    Commentary

    Tackling Radicalization Before It Begins

    Why not turn the question of violent extremism inside out and develop programs that reinforce non-radicalization? That is, rather than eliminating drivers, focus instead on strengthening the factors that inhibit violent extremism.

    Feb 23, 2015

  • Police officer maintaining crowd control

    Testimony

    Performance Metrics to Improve Police-Community Relations

    Changing the way police performance is measured could prevent issues leading to civil rights violations and poor police-community relations. Should California take the lead to recommend that local law enforcement agencies must report performance metrics?

    Feb 20, 2015

  • Report

    Positive Youth Development in a School-Based Setting: A Study of the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School Program

    Offers a case study of a Los Angeles public school--based positive youth development (PYD) program to examine the extent to which PYD principles are incorporated in school programming and how they relate to a set of youth outcomes.

    Feb 18, 2015

  • Workers remove oil-soaked grass from a marshland in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana, one year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, April 2011

    Announcement

    New Research Consortium to Tackle Community Resilience in the Gulf Region

    A new research group, the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities, will assess and address the public health, social, and economic impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico region. It will focus on determining how communities can build resilience to future disasters.

    Feb 17, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Mexico Is Not Colombia: Seeking More Productive Analogies for Responding to the Challenge of Violent Drug-Trafficking Organizations

    This article compares the security situation in Mexico to historical examples of similar situations in a range of other states.

    Feb 16, 2015

  • A health worker demonstrates putting on protective gear in a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Sierra Leone, December 18, 2014

    Report

    Learning While Doing: Applying Lessons Learned During Public Health Emergencies

    Response efforts to the 2014 Ebola outbreak highlighted both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers have created a tool that may help inform and guide ongoing efforts in the midst of similar public health emergencies, rather than after the fact.

    Feb 13, 2015

  • A man purported to be ISIS captive Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh in a cage in a still image from an undated video filmed from an undisclosed location, made available on social media on February 3, 2015

    Commentary

    ISIS's Calculated Barbarity

    ISIS's decision to murder its Jordanian hostage by burning him alive may turn out to be a strategic miscalculation, but it is not madness. Through self-selection, continued fighting, and the exaltation of unlimited violence, ISIS has created a cult whose members command and revel in displays of ever-increasing cruelty.

    Feb 10, 2015

  • Report

    Building the Guatemalan Interagency Task Force Tecún Umán: Lessons Identified

    USSOUTHCOM intends to use the Interagency Task Force (IATF) Tecún Umán as a model for new counternarcotics units in Guatemala. This report describes lessons learned from the IATF and provides recommendations for resolving challenges.

    Feb 9, 2015

  • Microscopic view of the Ebola virus

    Report

    Assessing Options for Public Health Emergency Planning and Response

    When public health emergencies arise, policymakers must assess and compare interventions to determine the best way forward. Using Ebola as an example, RAND developed a simple, practical, proof-of-concept tool that may fill gaps in a decisionmaker's ability to systematically assess options in a public health emergency.

    Feb 9, 2015

  • Binary code with 'password' in red

    Commentary

    Cyberattacks Are a Nuisance, Not Terrorism

    The United States needs to consider both the risk of further attacks like the Sony breach and also further ill-considered reactions that may arise if the problem of insecurity in cyberspace is shoved into the counterterrorism paradigm.

    Feb 9, 2015

  • A man purported to be ISIS captive and Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh in front of armed men in a still image from an undated video filmed in an undisclosed location, made available on social media on February 3, 2015

    Commentary

    Experts React to ISIS's Gruesome Execution of Jordanian Pilot

    A grisly video released yesterday by ISIS appears to show Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh burned alive in a cage. Why the shift away from beheadings? What does the execution mean for Jordan? What implications will it have for ISIS?

    Feb 4, 2015

  • People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo

    Commentary

    Decoding the Breach: The Truth About the CENTCOM Hack

    When ISIS hackers hijacked the Twitter account of U.S. Central Command on Jan. 12, they falsely claimed that they had hacked into U.S. military computers. While the incident was embarrassing, it was not concerning in operational military terms. It was, however, damaging to the counterinsurgency against ISIS.

    Feb 3, 2015

  • Criminal justice technology taxonomy web tool

    Tool

    Criminal Justice Technology Taxonomy Web Tool

    This tool presents a dynamic map populated by information on tools and practices that allow the user to explore the different areas of corrections technology and practice and to make comparisons between community and institutional corrections.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks at Los Angeles International Airport in California, February 20, 2014

    Commentary

    Go Back to Basics to Reform Homeland Security

    The Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 made the broadest and most sweeping changes to the Pentagon since its establishment in 1947. With the Department of Homeland Security in a similar state just over a decade after its hurried creation, it's time for DHS to have a Goldwater-Nichols of its own.

    Jan 28, 2015

  • Report

    Spotlight on 2014

    Spotlight 2014 is RAND Europe’s annual review. We present our research to support policymaking in four areas of transformation: harnessing the power of ICT, safeguarding society, building healthier communities and innovating for efficiency.

    Jan 27, 2015