Jessica Saunders is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation with over 18 years of experience conducting research related to the criminal justice system. Her research interests include policing, immigration and crime, developmental criminology, evaluation research, and quantitative methods. Saunders has led several large-scale criminal justice and prevention evaluation efforts, including a multi-site open-air drug market intervention evaluation, NIJ's predictive policing evaluation, a state-wide school safety program implementation evaluation, evaluation of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program,an examination of the Israel National Police, and assessing the effectiveness of correctional education on recidivism. She spent five months in Afghanistan studying both the development and effectiveness of Afghan Local Police and U.S. military women working in combat positions for NATO Special Forces.
Saunders has authored a series of statistical and methodological pieces on emerging statistical techniques for measuring the development of delinquency and youth violence and their implications for youth intervention evaluations, as well as advanced new quantitative methods to overcome sampling bias when using quasi-experimental and observational data at the individual and geographic level in evaluation research.
Saunders teaches criminology and public policy at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and prior to joining RAND, she was an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 and was the recipient of the Rudin Fellowship for applied criminal justice research from 2005 through 2007.
Jessica Saunders, Tracking the Development of Delinquency, LFB Scholarly Press, 2009
Michael Robbins, Jessica Saunders, Beau Kilmer, "A Framework for synthetic control methods with high-dimensional, micro-data: Evaluating a neighborhood-specific crime intervention," Journal of the American Statistical Association, 2106
Jessica Saunders, Michael Robbins, and Allison Ober, "Moving from efficacy to effectiveness: Implementing the Drug Market Intervention across multiple sites," Criminology and Public Policy, 16(3):787-814, 2017
Jessica Saunders, Allison Ober, Dionne Barnes-Proby, and Rob Brunson, "Police legitimacy and disrupting overt drug markets," Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 39(4):667-679, 2016
Jessica Saunders, Priscillia Hunt, and John Hollywood, "Putting predictions into practice: An evaluation of Chicago’s Predictive Policing Program," Journal of Experimental Criminology, 2016
Jeremy Miles, Layla Parast, Beth Ann Griffin, Sue Babey, and Jessica Saunders, "A propensity matched population based study of the health benefits of dog and cats for children," Anthrozoos, 30(3):429-440, 2017