Corrections

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Over two million adults are incarcerated in U.S. prisons, and each year more than 700,000 are released and return to communities. Within three years, 40 percent will be reincarcerated. RAND research has shown that correctional education programs improve inmates' future job prospects, reduce recidivism, and save taxpayer dollars. RAND also explores the juvenile justice system and innovations that can help corrections agencies respond more effectively in their role to protect the public.

  • Prisoners gather around a computer following a graduation ceremony from a computer coding program at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California April 20, 2015

    Report

    Higher Education Programs in Prison Reduce Recidivism

    Aug 28, 2019

    Evidence shows that correctional education programs are effective—and cost-effective—at improving employment outcomes for participants and at helping to keep them from returning to prison. But given limited budgets, how can the long-term funding of these programs be sustained?

  • A woman taking a call in prison, photo by Thinkstock Images/Getty Images

    Report

    Many Detainees with Mental Illness Could Be Safely Diverted to Community Care

    Jan 7, 2020

    In June 2019, more than 5,500 people in Los Angeles County jails were in mental health housing units and/or were taking psychotropic medications. Based on legal and clinical factors, 61 percent of these individuals were likely eligible for release into community-based treatment.

Explore Corrections

  • Jerome Boone shakes hands with members of the audience after graduating from a computer coding program at San Quentin State Prison in California, April 20, 2015

    Content

    The Impact of Correctional Education

    Policymakers are considering how to reduce mass incarceration in the United States. Correctional education programs can help reduce recidivism and improve post-release employment outcomes. This saves taxpayers money.

    Nov 10, 2015

  • Prisoner wearing handcuffs in a courtroom

    Commentary

    What's Next on the Convicted Terrorist's Timeline?

    As inmates near the end of their sentences for terrorism-related offenses, and with some individuals already freed, it's time to explore what considerations may be necessary.

    Nov 4, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015

    Commentary

    Obama Commutes Sentences of 46 Drug Offenders. Now for the Hard Part

    Last month, President Obama commuted more sentences in a single day than any president since Lyndon Johnson. But commutation doesn't erase a criminal conviction.

    Aug 10, 2015

  • The U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC

    Blog

    The 2015 Summer Reading List for Congress

    With Capitol Hill slowing for August recess, this list of must-read research and commentaries will help ensure that policymakers are ready to dive right back in this fall.

    Aug 5, 2015

  • Soldiers escort Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman at the Navy's airstrip in Mexico City, February 22, 2014

    Commentary

    El Chapo's Prison Escape Should Come as No Surprise

    Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel and similar criminal organizations have long used tunnels to literally undermine security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Jul 24, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Peer Mentoring for Male Parolees: A CBPR Pilot Study

    This study demonstrated the feasibility and import of involving formerly incarcerated adults in the design, implementation, and testing of interventions intended to support their reintegration efforts.

    Jul 7, 2015

  • Report

    Report

    Self-inflicted Deaths in NOMS' Custody Amongst 18–24 Year Olds: Staff Experience, Knowledge and Views

    This Report presents the findings of research into self-inflicted deaths in custody amongst 18-24 year olds in England and Wales. The research was undertaken in five UK prisons, and was commissioned by a national review examining deaths in custody.

    Jul 1, 2015

  • Report

    Report

    Public Safety Realignment in Twelve California Counties

    California legislation grants flexibility to counties in implementing public safety realignment. This report determines whether counties continued and expanded existing practices or took the opportunity to change correctional business as usual.

    Jun 29, 2015

  • Young man in handcuffs

    Report

    Los Angeles County Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act: Fiscal Year 2013–2014

    Overall, juvenile offenders and at-risk youth in Los Angeles who participated in evidence-based programs and services showed more positive outcomes (e.g., lower arrest rates) than a comparison group.

    Jun 24, 2015

  • Group of friends making a toast

    Commentary

    Could You Lose Your License to Drink?

    Criminal justice reform requires creating demand for bold ideas about simultaneously reducing incarceration and crime. Given the prominent role alcohol plays in crime — and the strong results from South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety program — suspending one's “license to drink” seems well worth considering.

    Jun 23, 2015

  • A man and his lawyer hear a ruling from a judge

    Journal Article

    Growing Support For a New Approach to Community Supervision

    Empirical support for the swift-certain-fair (SCF) approach to community supervision is growing. SCF provides an alternative to conventional community supervision programs (probation, parole, pretrial release) and may ultimately help reduce reoffending and the time participants spend behind bars.

    Apr 22, 2015

  • French special intervention police conduct a house-to-house search in Longpont, northeast of Paris, January 8, 2015

    Commentary

    Different Countries, Different Ways of Countering Terrorism

    France and the United States follow different approaches in dealing with terrorist suspects. This divergence reflects differences in the threat, historical experience, law, available resources, and public attitudes. France faces a more serious terrorist threat than the U.S. does.

    Mar 2, 2015

  • Criminal justice technology taxonomy web tool

    Tool

    Criminal Justice Technology Taxonomy Web Tool

    This tool presents a dynamic map populated by information on tools and practices that allow the user to explore the different areas of corrections technology and practice and to make comparisons between community and institutional corrections.

    Feb 2, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Options and Issues Regarding Marijuana Legalization in Vermont

    If Vermont chooses to remove its prohibition on producing and selling marijuana, lawmakers will have many choices to make about who will supply it, who can buy it, if and how it will be taxed, and how it will be regulated. There are pros and cons to all policy options as well as uncertainty about how different forms of legalization will affect public health and safety.

    Jan 16, 2015

  • Canvassers leave flyers to drum up support for Oregon's Measure 91, which would legalize recreational marijuana use, in Portland, October 28, 2014

    Research Brief

    The Marijuana Legalization Debate

    Marijuana policy should not be viewed as a binary choice between prohibition and the for-profit commercial model seen in Colorado and Washington. Legalization encompasses a wide range of possible regimes.

    Jan 16, 2015

  • Customers shop for "Green Friday" deals in Denver, Colorado, November 28, 2014

    Report

    Insights for Vermont and Other States Considering Marijuana Legalization

    If Vermont chooses to remove its prohibition on producing and selling marijuana, lawmakers will have many choices to make about who will supply it, who can buy it, if and how it will be taxed, and how it will be regulated. There are pros and cons to all policy options as well as uncertainty about how different forms of legalization will affect public health and safety.

    Jan 16, 2015

  • Young man in handcuffs

    Journal Article

    Incarcerated Youths' Perspectives on Protective Factors and Risk Factors for Juvenile Offending: A Qualitative Analysis

    Juvenile offenders admit bad judgment but think a better path is still achievable.

    Jan 7, 2015

  • Security guard watching video monitoring surveillance security system with portable radio transmitter

    Report

    New Tool Helps Corrections Agencies Rank Innovation Needs

    Institutional and community corrections agencies are facing increasingly complex tasks and challenges that call for innovative tools, technology, practices, and approaches. Given resource constraints, prioritizing needs is essential. A new tool can help.

    Jan 6, 2015

  • Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative Tool

    Tool

    Interactive Tool for Ranking Corrections Innovation Needs

    Interactive tool that allows users to leverage the research in Fostering Innovation in Community and Institutional Corrections.

    Jan 6, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Previously Removed Immigrants Are More Likely to Be Rearrested After Leaving Jail

    Unauthorized immigrants who previously have been removed from the United States are more than 2.5 times more likely to be rearrested after leaving jail, and are likely to be rearrested much more frequently than those who have never been removed.

    Dec 16, 2014