Investing in policy-focused research can be among the ways foundations catalyze change. Impactful work may involve strong collaborations across funders, researchers, and community partners. And it may require flexibility in design and execution as well as a commitment to getting the findings into the hands of decisionmakers who can use the findings to create change.
Hundreds of thousands of people with serious mental illnesses cycle in and out of American jails every year. In Los Angeles, some of them are getting diverted into a supportive housing program where they can get the treatment they need. And the results are promising.
The final State of the Union address of President Trump's four-year term may be viewed through the lens of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the evening. But the speech touched on a range of policy challenges that will remain, regardless of how politics play out in 2020.
Many services try to address the needs of individuals returning from prison, but they're often designed without much input from the very people who need the services. A group of county agencies, service providers, and former prisoners collaborated to identify ways to improve reentry services in Los Angeles.
To avoid the all-too-common fate of ending up back in prison, incarcerated adults need skills and credentials they typically don't have. Helping them overcome the challenges of reentry is a net gain for them and for the communities to which they return.
To shed light on a wide range of topics that figured in President Trump's second State of the Union address, we've rounded up insights from some of RAND's objective and nonpartisan research, analysis, and expertise.
Prisons in the UK are experiencing record numbers of suicides and other violent incidents, as well as staff shortages. Policymakers working on prison reform need more effective ways to measure the performance of prison programs.
Drug dependence imposes significant costs to society and traditional criminal justice responses like imprisonment do not reduce crime. More quality research on alternative sanctions could help police, prosecutors, and judges expand their options while helping users get treatment.
RAND research, analysis, and expertise provide context for many of the issues discussed in President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address, including the threat of ISIS, global climate change, and bringing peace to Syria.
Inmates who participate in any kind of educational program behind bars are up to 43 percent less likely to reoffend and return to prison. They also appear to be far more likely to find a job after their release.
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.
Providing education and vocational training to inmates is a cost-effective way to reduce recidivism rates, thus shrinking prison populations and easing the strain on prison budgets. Education is far less expensive than incarceration.
California can learn a great deal from the state of Washington, which has implemented a series of reforms focused on rehabilitation--on diverting offenders to treatment and other options and making serving time in prison the last option.
When an inmate is released, you often hear Americans say that he's 'paid his debt' and can now become 'a productive member of society.' But the reality is ex-cons pay for their crimes long after sentences end. On the outside, the stigma of incarceration makes it extremely difficult to land a job.
Correctional education works for states because it saves money and shrinks prison populations. It works for prisoners, the public, law enforcement, and the judicial system because educated prisoners are less likely to return to their criminal ways once released.
America's prison population tends to be sicker than the general population. While Medicaid eligibility under the ACA offers an historic opportunity, enrolling the formerly incarcerated into the health exchanges or Medicaid will be neither simple nor straightforward.
If California wants to reduce its prison population, it needs to address recidivism, and the best way to do this is through education and job training. Cutting education and vocational training may seem like a tempting way to plug short-term budget gaps, but it actually ends up costing the system more over time.
Under a Social Impact Bond, private investors — rather than the government — provide up-front funding for programs that tackle such challenges as recidivism or homelessness. If these programs succeed, the government pays some of the savings back to the investors.
The state needs to deal with prison overcrowding and inadequate medical care for prisoners in ways that don't simply transfer the burden to county criminal justice systems and the healthcare safety nets of local communities, writes Lois Davis.
Before he closes Guantánamo, Obama must take a clear-eyed look at the record – and anticipate the next chapter of the fight against terrorism. What happens to terrorist suspects after they leave the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, writes Aidan Kirby Winn.