John S. Hollywood

Photo of John Hollywood
Senior Operations Researcher; Policing Market Manager; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


Ph.D. in operations research, MIT; B.S. in applied mathematics, MIT


John S. Hollywood is a senior operations researcher at the RAND Corporation, a professor of policy analysis at Pardee RAND Graduate School, and RAND's policing market manager. He conducts decision science and systems engineering-related research in the areas of criminal justice, homeland security, and information technology.  He recently served as the director of the NLECTC Information and Geospatial Technologies Center, which provided strategic planning, technology research and assessment, liaison and outreach support on information technology and analytics for the National Institute of Justice. Other recent projects include leading development of a web resource on promising policing strategies and how to implement them; a technology evaluation at a major active shooting exercise in Grand Central Terminal; leading numerous panels to determine science and technology-related needs for the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security; co-leading multi-year evaluations of predictive policing experiments and real-time crime operations centers; characterizing recent US terror plots and how they have been foiled; identifying and characterizing scientific breakthroughs as evidenced in patent applications; developing tools to predict areas at risk of increased crime using criminal incident and suspicious activity data; and development of methods for fusing disparate reports about potential terrorist threats. He is an internationally-recognized expert on the use of machine learning in policing and criminal justice technology more broadly, and is commonly interviewed on these topics. He has written opinion pieces on best practices in counterterrorism and law enforcement technology for United Press InternationalCNN, The Charlotte Observer, Crane's Chicago Business, Government Technology, and ORMS Today.  

Recent Projects

  • Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative
  • Predictive Policing Experiment Evaluations
  • Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group
  • Information and Geospatial Technologies Center

Selected Publications

John S. Hollywood, Andrew Lauland, Dulani Woods, Kenneth N. McKay, Yingzi Zhang, Better Policing Toolkit, RAND Corporation (TL-261-RC), 2018

John S. Hollywood, Dulani Woods, Andrew Lauland, Brian A. Jackson, Richard Silberglitt, Addressing Emerging Trends to Support the Future of Criminal Justice Findings of the Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group, RAND Corporation (RR-1987-BJA), 2018

John S. Hollywood, Dulani Woods, Sean E. Goodison, Andrew Lauland, Lisa Wagner, Thomas J. Wilson, Brian A. Jackson, Fostering Innovation in U.S. Law Enforcement: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for Improving Law Enforcement Operations and Outcomes, RAND Corporation (RR-1814-NIJ), 2017

John S. Hollywood, Dulani Woods, Richard Silberglitt, Brian A. Jackson, Using Future Internet Technologies to Strengthen Criminal Justice, RAND (RR-928-NIJ), 2015

Walter L. Perry, Brian McInnis, Carter C. Price, John S. Hollywood, Predictive Policing: The Role of Crime Forecasting in Law Enforcement Operations, RAND (RR-233-NIJ), 2013

John S. Hollywood, "An Approximate Planning Model for Distributed Computing Networks," Naval Research Logistics, 52(6), 2005

John S. Hollywood, Kenneth N. McKay, "An Adaptive Scheduling Framework for Heterogeneous Computer Networks," Control Engineering Principles, 12, 2004

John S. Hollywood, Diane Snyder, Kenneth N. McKay, John Boon, Out of the Ordinary: Finding Hidden Threats by Analyzing Unusual Behavior, RAND (MG-126-RC), 2004

Honors & Awards

  • Karl Taylor Compton Prize, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Silver Patrick Henry Award, Military Order of the World Wars


  • Flowers and candles at a memorial five days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, August 8, 2019, photo by Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters

    No Need to Wait for Congress to Address Mass Shootings

    After three mass shootings in the span of a week left 53 wounded and 34 dead, pressure is mounting on Congress to respond with legislation to restrict access to guns and ammunition. But there is no need to wait for new laws. There are steps that can be taken immediately that evidence suggests could help prevent attacks or reduce the death toll from them.

    Aug 23, 2019 The Hill

  • A man prays at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue following the October 27, 2018 shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Suppressing Motivation, Legitimacy Can Help Avoid Political Violence

    The threat of political violence is real and growing, but there are concrete things that can be done to reduce the risks. Solutions might include repeated statements from leaders that fear of people because of their ethnicity, religion, party, or social grouping is wrong and that violence against them is illegitimate and against American values.

    Nov 28, 2018 United Press International

  • A police officer talking on the phone at his desk

    CPD's 'Heat List' and the Dilemma of Predictive Policing

    Predictive policing — the use of computer models to identify areas or people at greater risk of being involved in a serious crime — is yielding results for police. How authorities plan to respond to the data is key.

    Sep 21, 2016 Crain's Chicago Business

  • a police car pulling over a driver

    Predictive Policing: An Effective Tool, but Not a Crystal Ball

    Predictive policing is not an end-all solution, but rather a tool that must be used in concert with other policing resources as part of a broader anti-crime effort. Used properly, predictive policing can predict the risk of future events, but not the events themselves.

    Nov 15, 2013 Government Technology

  • Can You Help Stop Terror Plots?

    Of the plots foiled in the last 10 years on U.S. soil, the would-be terrorists came from many different ethnic groups. We know of no cases where ethnic profiling helped stop a terrorist plot, write John Hollywood and Kevin J. Strom.

    May 10, 2011 CNN

  • Alert Public and Cops Foiled the Most Terrorism Schemes

    The recent foiled plot by a naturalized citizen to bomb Washington-area metro stations has national counterterrorism officials warning that the U.S. faces not only risks from abroad, but also homegrown terrorism, write John S. Hollywood and Kevin J. Strom.

    Nov 24, 2010 The Charlotte Observer