Criminal Justice

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RAND research on criminal justice examines such topics as drug policy, counterterrorism, DNA evidence, security trade-offs, victims' rights, and much more.

Explore Criminal Justice

  • Cuba's President Raul Castro stands between Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, a.k.a. Timochenko, in Havana, September 23, 2015, as they agreed to reach a final peace agreement within six months

    Commentary

    Bringing FARC in from the Cold

    The announcement of a preliminary peace accord by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the Colombian government is not receiving public support. Most Colombians manifest a strong desire for peace but reject the possibility that crimes committed in the name of revolution should receive amnesty.

    Oct 28, 2015

  • Police officers investigating just beyond a police line after a bus shooting

    Commentary

    Understanding Police Coordination

    Understanding coordination work in policing is worthy of attention by researchers for a number of reasons. When police fail to coordinate their activities adequately, crimes and their detection and prosecution can slip through organizational cracks.

    Oct 9, 2015

  • Terry Lenzer

    Content

    The Lenzner-Coleman Challenge Fund for Criminal Justice Research

    After a 50-year career as a lawyer and investigator, Terry Lenzner launched the Lenzner-Coleman Challenge Fund for Criminal Justice Research in response to events highlighting fractures in police-community relations.

    Aug 31, 2015

  • News Release

    News Release

    Internet Technology Could Aid Police, Courts and Prisons; Resolving Privacy Issues Key to Future Use

    New Internet-based technology may aid criminal justice agencies through promising tools such as better criminal databases, remotely conducted trials, and electronic monitoring of parolees. But many of the developments raise issues related to civil rights, privacy, and cybersecurity that must be addressed.

    Aug 17, 2015

  • A police officer examining a fingerprint on a monitor

    Report

    Internet Technology Could Aid Police, Courts, and Prisons

    New Internet-based technology may aid criminal justice agencies through promising tools, such as better criminal databases, remotely conducted trials, and electronic monitoring of parolees. But many of the developments raise issues related to civil rights, privacy, and cybersecurity that must be addressed.

    Aug 17, 2015

  • Report

    Report

    The Potential of Blind Collaborative Justice: Testing the Impact of Expert Blinding and Consensus Building on the Validity of Forensic Testimony

    RAND researchers investigated two potential contributors to biased testimony within adversarial litigation involving forensic evidence: experts' knowledge of which side they were testifying for, and lack of input from relevant scientific communities.

    Aug 7, 2015

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2015

    This issue of RAND Review reports on the economic costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, healthy menu options for food trucks, ways to bridge the civilian-military gap, the depiction of terrorism on television, and more.

    Jul 2, 2015

  • A wooden gavel

    Commentary

    In the Interest of Justice

    As the line between criminal justice and national security continues to blur, K. Jack Riley offers three principles that can help young criminology practitioners and scholars.

    Jun 26, 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

  • Police stopping on a crowded street

    Blog

    Examining Police, Community Relations

    The “Strengthening Police-Community Trust” panel held Wednesday at RAND's Pittsburgh offices felt ripped from the headlines, and from the outset the discussion was focused on what the moderator called “the intersection between the community and the police.”

    May 8, 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

  • Tool

    Interactive Tool for Ranking Digital Evidence Needs

    This tool presents the prioritized needs related to digital evidence collection, management, analysis, and use and allows the user to see how their priorities would change when the importance of different digital evidence objectives are changed.

    Apr 20, 2015

  • Gavel on laptop computer keyboard concept for online internet auction or legal assistance

    Report

    Digital Evidence and the U.S. Criminal Justice System

    There are significant challenges to successfully using digital evidence in criminal prosecutions. Through structured interaction with police digital forensic experts, prosecuting attorneys, a privacy advocate, and industry representatives, researchers identified and prioritized specific needs to improve utilization of digital evidence in criminal justice.

    Apr 20, 2015

  • Police form a line after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, November 24, 2014

    Commentary

    Progress After Ferguson? Good Ideas Need Good Implementation

    President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing has done a great service by providing dozens of sound recommendations—good ideas that could help avoid another Ferguson. Now we need good implementation to go along with them.

    Mar 9, 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

  • Police officer using radio to communicate

    Report

    High-Priority Information Technology Needs for Law Enforcement

    Law enforcement's knowledge of information technology and its dissemination can be improved. A federal coordinator for technology-related outreach should be designated; this coordinator would work with various offices involved to develop and monitor a dissemination strategy.

    Jan 19, 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

  • A man holding a 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' pose and wearing an 'I Can't Breathe' mask outside City Hall, New York City, December 10, 2014

    Commentary

    Can Big Data Help Build Trust in the Police?

    After two controversial grand jury decisions not to indict police in the deaths of unarmed African Americans, a White House task force has 90 days to provide recommendations for promoting accountability among law enforcement agencies to cultivate trust between police and communities. The timeline may seem impossible, but, sadly, these issues are old and the solutions are well known.

    Dec 11, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Community Justice Center in San Francisco Is Associated with Lower Rearrest Rates

    San Francisco opened the Community Justice Center in 2009 to serve the city's Tenderloin district and adjacent neighborhoods. Those arrested for an eligible offense in the Center catchment area after it opened were 8.9 to 10.3 percent less likely to be rearrested within one year.

    Oct 8, 2014