This paper was the basis for the keynote address at the September 1987 annual meeting of the Criminal Justice Statistics Association (CJSA) in San Francisco. The leadership of CJSA thought members might benefit from learning how RAND tries to make its research useful to policymakers. Beginning with a description of how RAND is organized and how it works, the paper continues with a discussion of how RAND decides on the work it will undertake and bring its research results to bear on, influence, and inform public policy. The paper concludes with specific examples of long-term policy issues that the Criminal Justice program within RAND has examined in the 1980s, and new directions for study in the 1990s.
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