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

  • City global warming concept art

    Project

    WCRC Helps Organizations Plan for Climate Challenges

    The RAND Water and Climate Resilience Center conducts policy research and develops innovative tools to support decisionmakers at all levels of government as they confront challenges presented by climate change.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • An airline passenger stands in a full-body scanner at a TSA checkpoint at LAX in February 2014 after U.S. authorities issued a warning to airlines to watch out for militants who may have hidden bombs in their shoes

    Commentary

    What Research Says About Profiling

    When police take action on the basis of race, creed, or ethnicity it is corrosive, unfair, ineffective, and can stoke the flames of police-community tension. But as we have found from a variety of assessments, law enforcement is best served when it bases its activities on risk—not on personal characteristics.

    Dec 18, 2014

  • News Release

    Previously Removed Immigrants Are More Likely to Be Rearrested After Leaving Jail

    Unauthorized immigrants who previously have been removed from the United States are more than 2.5 times more likely to be rearrested after leaving jail, and are likely to be rearrested much more frequently than those who have never been removed.

    Dec 16, 2014

  • Report

    Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Moderate Sanctions to Reduce Alcohol-Related Crime: The South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program

    Systematic review of the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program's structure, effectiveness, and cost.

    Dec 15, 2014

  • Farm workers sort tomatoes at a ranch in Mexico

    Commentary

    'Product of Mexico': Why Have Corporate/Social Responsibility Programs Failed?

    The Fair Food Program has been a leader in using cooperation, visibility, and accountability to meet the needs of workers, growers, and buyers. Can it be a model for addressing these critical issues in Mexico as well?

    Dec 12, 2014

  • Posters of a boy, killed in Shi'ite-Sunni violence, displayed on his grave in Sanaa, Yemen, November 17, 2014

    Commentary

    The Tortured Roots of Sectarian Violence

    The recent increase of sectarian terrorism is best understood as a product of the ancient Sunni-Shiite divide, the growth of modern-day extremist groups, the Iranian-Saudi rivalry, and the growing phenomenon of fractured states.

    Dec 12, 2014

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un guides a takeoff and landing drill on a highway airfield in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang, October 19, 2014

    Commentary

    Did North Korea Hack Sony Pictures Entertainment?

    North Korea has tried pressuring Sony Pictures, the White House, and the UN to halt the release of a film that depicts Kim Jong-un in terms Kim would not want the world and especially his elites to see. After failing to stop the film diplomatically, North Korea may have been motivated to escalate its efforts.

    Dec 11, 2014

  • A man holding a "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" pose and wearing an "I Can't Breathe" mask outside City Hall, New York City, December 10, 2014

    Commentary

    Can Big Data Help Build Trust in the Police?

    After two controversial grand jury decisions not to indict police in the deaths of unarmed African Americans, a White House task force has 90 days to provide recommendations for promoting accountability among law enforcement agencies to cultivate trust between police and communities. The timeline may seem impossible, but, sadly, these issues are old and the solutions are well known.

    Dec 11, 2014

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs official arrests an undocumented immigrant

    Commentary

    Prior Removal and Recidivism

    President Obama's executive action on immigration includes a new program that targets immigration enforcement at those arrested for more serious offenses and those deemed to be risks to national security. Research shows that unauthorized immigrants who have been previously deported are more likely to be rearrested after jail release, so local public safety interests and federal immigration enforcement priorities may well align around immigrants with a record of prior removal.

    Dec 11, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Media Violence Exposure and Physical Aggression in Fifth-Grade Children

    Exposure to media violence is strongly linked to physical aggression among youth 10-11 years old.

    Dec 10, 2014

  • A bulldozer is parked in the Queens borough of New York where a concrete foundation is all that remains of a house that burned to the ground during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012

    Report

    Lessons Learned from Implementing Infrastructure Resilience Guidelines

    The Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force developed guidelines to ensure that federal agencies incorporate key principles of resilience into their formulation, evaluation, and prioritization of infrastructure investments related to Sandy rebuilding. An initial assessment of the implementation of the guidelines identifies opportunities and challenges.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • Facade of the Federal Hall in New York City

    Report

    The Changing Role of Criminal Law in Controlling Corporate Behavior

    What should be the role of criminal law in controlling corporate behavior? Researchers measure the current use of criminal sanctions in controlling corporate behavior and offer suggestions about how doing so might be improved.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • Rob Cox and Kenneth Feinberg at RAND's Politics Aside 2014

    Blog

    In the Wake of Disaster: Practical and Philosophical Challenges of Victim Compensation

    When tragedy strikes, Kenneth Feinberg is often the person companies and governments turn to for help to determine appropriate monetary compensation. At RAND's Politics Aside event last week, he shared some of his thoughts on what goes into making those decisions, and why it's so important to meet with victims.

    Nov 20, 2014

  • Mounted police outside Buckingham Palace

    Report

    Assessing the Value of Mounted Police Units in the UK

    Research in the UK shows demonstrable and measurable value of mounted police in various deployment scenarios, but the decision to maintain, expand or cut mounted capacity must be based on the priorities a police force sets within limited and contracting budgets.

    Nov 18, 2014

  • Judith Rodin at RAND's Politics Aside 2014

    Blog

    Investing in Resilient Cities

    It's time to change the paradigm from disaster response and recovery to building resilient communities, said Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, at RAND's Politics Aside event. To build resiliency, officials need to take an integrated approach to planning.

    Nov 15, 2014

  • Participants practice a medical procedure on a dummy arm during training for the Ebola response team at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, October 24, 2014

    Commentary

    Ebola Shows America Needs Better Disaster Preparedness

    Crafting an effective, whole-community strategy to respond to Ebola could stop the spread of the disease now and lay groundwork for responses to future outbreaks and other emergencies. In the long run, this could make public preparedness and resilience valuable assets for the U.S.

    Nov 7, 2014

  • Report

    Targeting Alcohol Misuse: A Promising Strategy for Reducing Military Sexual Assaults?

    There has been growing concern about both sexual assault and alcohol misuse in the U.S. military. Research on civilians may provide guidance for efforts to reduce alcohol misuse as part of a larger strategy targeting sexual assault in the military.

    Oct 31, 2014

  • U.S. Army soldiers, earmarked for the fight against Ebola, put on protective suits during training before their deployment to West Africa, October 9, 2014

    Commentary

    Declaring War on Ebola

    Operation United Assistance, which includes the deployment of 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to respond to the Ebola crisis, is a welcome recognition of the range of missions the military is increasingly able to tackle, particularly in disaster-management assistance.

    Oct 10, 2014

  • A burial team wearing protective clothing prepares to enter the home a person suspected of having died from Ebola in Freetown, Sierra Leone, September 28, 2014

    Commentary

    Ebola Outbreak: Putting the Public Back in Public Health

    Medical and public health systems are crucial to controlling the transmission of Ebola and treating patients. But the public's role in becoming aware and engaged, both in West Africa and the United States, cannot be overstated.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • News Release

    Community Justice Center in San Francisco Is Associated with Lower Rearrest Rates

    San Francisco opened the Community Justice Center in 2009 to serve the city's Tenderloin district and adjacent neighborhoods. Those arrested for an eligible offense in the Center catchment area after it opened were 8.9 to 10.3 percent less likely to be rearrested within one year.

    Oct 8, 2014