John S. Hollywood

Photo of John Hollywood
Senior Operations Researcher
Washington Office


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


John S. Hollywood (he/him) is a senior operations researcher at the RAND Corporation, where he conducts decision science research in the areas of criminal justice, homeland security, and information technology. 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. His 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 previously served as the manager of the RAND Center for Quality Policing and Director of the NLECTC Information and Geospatial Technologies Center. He has written opinion pieces on best practices in counterterrorism and law enforcement technology for The Hill, United Press InternationalCNN, The Charlotte Observer, Crane's Chicago Business, Government Technology, and ORMS Today.  

Recent Projects

  • Improving the Understanding of Mass Shooting Plots
  • 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, Brian A. Jackson, Annie Brothers, Mark Barrett, Dulani Woods, Michael J. D. Vermeer, A Database of Criminal Justice Needs for Innovation: Requirements for Developers and Funders, RAND Corporation (TL-352-NIJ), 2020

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

John S. Hollywood, Kenneth N. McKay, Dulani Woods, Denis Agniel, Real-Time Crime Centers in Chicago Evaluation of the Chicago Police Department's Strategic Decision Support Centers, RAND Corporation (RR-3242-BJA), 2020

Honors & Awards

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


  • Painted stones are placed at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, July 13, 2022, photo by Kaylee Greenlee Beal/Reuters

    A Toolkit for Avoiding Mass Shootings

    RAND has developed an online educational toolkit to provide practical strategies and guidance on deterring, mitigating, and responding to mass attacks. Research highlights three top ways to mitigate and/or respond to mass attacks right now: through proactive prevention, relentless follow-up, and diligent preparation and training.

    Jul 14, 2022 United Press International

  • NYPD officers distribute face masks in Washington Square Park, New York City, May 10, 2020, photo by nycshooter/Getty Images

    Police Officers: This Article Will Make You Better at Combatting Misinformation

    By deliberately addressing misinformation, police officers can promote safe and healthy behaviors among those in their communities. The actions they take to combat misinformation and improve protections in their communities are a critical part of the collective campaign to end the pandemic and help people return to their normal lives.

    Aug 24, 2020 Police1

  • Silhouettes of police and other people, photo by wildpixel/Getty Images

    How to Transform Policing

    The killing of George Floyd and other abuses of power have brought about growing calls to alter how we conduct public safety and, more broadly, criminal justice in America. Evidence shows there is substantial room for improvement.

    Jul 9, 2020 The Hill

  • Demonstrators march during a protest against racial inequality in Brooklyn after the killing of George Floyd, June 16, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Protests and Police Reform: Q&A with RAND Experts

    After the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and subsequent nationwide protests, the United States is seeing urgent action to reform policing. Here are insights from four RAND researchers who work on policing and community safety issues.

    Jun 18, 2020

  • 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 member of the NYPD bomb squad walks outside the Time Warner Center in Manhattan after a suspicious package was found at CNN headquarters, New York City, October 24, 2018, photo by Kevin Coombs/Reuters

    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