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

  • Spanish police arresting a woman suspected of recruiting women to go to Syria and Iraq to support Islamic State insurgents

    Commentary

    The Allure of ISIS for Young Recruits

    Poverty and oppression may explain why people in some countries embrace violent extremism, but it does not account for the flow of Western volunteers or the dreamy allure of fighting for a faraway cause. Biographies of those who have reached out to participate in jihad suggest a variety of motives, including alienation, personal crises, dissatisfaction with empty spiritual lives, and adolescent rebellion.

    Mar 20, 2015

  • Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California

    Commentary

    The Disneyland Measles Outbreak: “Anti-Vaxxers” Aren't the Only Issue

    The recent measles outbreak that began in Disneyland is the latest reminder that Americans have ceded ground in the fight against the potentially deadly disease. So-called “anti-vaxxer” parents have received a lot of attention following the outbreak, but they may comprise less of the population than you think.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • Police in formation at a Memorial Day ceremony in Connecticut

    Commentary

    When It Comes to Police-Community Relations, “Expect What You Inspect”

    As the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing report suggests, local governments should evaluate police on more than crime statistics, and police departments and officers should be held publicly accountable for meeting the community's expectations. Adding new dimensions of performance metrics would help.

    Mar 17, 2015

  • A police officer points a spotlight at a group of demonstrators near Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014

    Report

    Visions of Law Enforcement Technology in the Future

    The Law Enforcement Futuring Workshop identified ten possible future scenarios and 30 high-priority technology needs for law enforcement based on consideration of current and future trends in society, technology, and law enforcement.

    Mar 16, 2015

  • Mounted police patrol Hattersley near Manchester, northern England

    Commentary

    Want Better Policing? Bring on the Horses

    Neighborhood patrols by mounted police in the UK are associated with comparatively higher levels of public trust and confidence than patrols by police on foot. Members of the public engage with mounted police over six times as much as they engage with police on foot.

    Mar 10, 2015

  • Police form a line after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, November 24, 2014

    Commentary

    Progress After Ferguson? Good Ideas Need Good Implementation

    President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing has done a great service by providing dozens of sound recommendations—good ideas that could help avoid another Ferguson. Now we need good implementation to go along with them.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Report

    Making and Breaking Barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK: Appendices

    These appendices include the research tools used by the research team in different stages of the project, as well as additional data referenced in the main report.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Report

    Making and Breaking Barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK

    The Association of Chief Police Officers commissioned the University of Oxford and RAND Europe to develop evidence on the value of mounted police in key deployment contexts, including neighbourhood, football and public order policing.

    Mar 9, 2015

  • Report

    RAND Review: March-April 2015

    This issue of RAND Review reports on American jihadists and the threat of homegrown terrorism in Europe, drug-resistant superbugs and the economic costs of antimicrobial resistance, profiling, resilient cities, and recent philanthropic gifts to RAND.

    Mar 4, 2015

  • 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

  • Journal Article

    Assessing Entrepreneurship in Governmental Public Health

    We assessed the feasibility and desirability of public health entrepreneurship (PHE) in governmental public health.

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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