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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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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