Criminal Justice


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

  • A gavel and handcuffs


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

    San Francisco opened the Community Justice Center in 2009 to serve its 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

  • Activists, demanding justice for the shooting death of teen Michael Brown, raise their hands as they are blocked by police from entering the courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri


    In Ferguson's Wake, How a Data-Driven Approach Can Improve Police-Community Relations

    Community leaders and police departments have a responsibility to their citizens to address questions about their policing practices, such as: What are the most significant areas of concern? How severe are the problems? What are the most effective solutions?

    Sep 16, 2014

  • Report


    Phase 2 report from the payment by results Social Impact Bond pilot at HMP Peterborough

    This report is the second from the evaluation of the Social Impact Bond pilot at Peterborough prison. Based on stakeholder interviews it looks at the operation of the pilot over the last four years.

    Jul 18, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Is Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Effective for Hispanic Youth? An Evaluation of Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders in Los Angeles County

    Multisystemic Therapy improves outcomes for Hispanic youth in the Los Angeles County juvenile justice system. Although initial program costs are high, decreased criminal justice costs over time for high-risk youth could eventually outweigh them.

    Jun 17, 2014

  • Congolese woman


    First Steps Toward Addressing DR Congo's Rape Crisis

    An effort to address atrocities against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo has fallen short of advocates' hopes for justice. With its focus on criminal prosecution, the strategy failed to consider the weak infrastructure of the judicial system, left victims' needs unmet, and did little to address prevention.

    Jun 11, 2014

  • Report


    An Assessment of Program Sustainability in Three Bureau of Justice Assistance Criminal Justice Domains

    Some Bureau of Justice Assistance programs sustain operations or funding after initial funding ends. This report outlines strategies for helping programs sustain themselves and recommends a plan for ongoing measurement of sustainability.

    Apr 21, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Working Smarter on Cold Cases: Identifying Factors Associated with Successful Cold Case Investigations

    Cold case squads have garnered much attention; however, they have yet to undergo significant empirical scrutiny.

    Mar 1, 2014

  • inmates outside the Orleans Parish Prison


    New Approach to Prison and the War on Drugs

    If you want to reduce cocaine consumption and drug-related crime, you get more bang for the buck if you put money into treatment rather than paying for the increase in incarceration produced by federal mandatory minimum sentences, writes Beau Kilmer.

    Aug 13, 2013

  • Report


    No More Rights Without Remedies: An Impact Evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute's Victims' Rights Clinics

    This report describes how representation from National Crime Victim Law Institute clinics affects the exercise of rights in individual cases, legislation, court rules, appellate decisions, and media reporting.

    Dec 27, 2012

  • lawyer before jury during trial

    Journal Article

    How Much Difference Does the Lawyer Make in Philadelphia Murder Cases?

    One in five indigent murder defendants in Philadelphia are randomly assigned representation by public defenders while the remainder receive court-appointed private attorneys. Compared to appointed counsel, public defenders in Philadelphia reduce their clients' murder conviction rate by 19%, lower the probability of a life sentence by 62%, and reduce overall expected time served in prison by 24%.

    Oct 1, 2012

  • Yasser Esam Hamdi in Camp X-ray, Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Cuba, April 4, 2002


    A Final Word on the NDAA

    While I have no doubt of Levin's determination to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens, incremental adjustments and seemingly small compromises, each sensible under the circumstances, can have a cumulative effect that erodes the very liberty we are trying to protect, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    May 7, 2012

  • President Barack Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing from Robert Cardillo, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration, in the Oval Office, Jan. 31, 2012


    The NDAA Makes It Harder to Fight Terrorism

    Much of the debate over this bill has focused on the political issue of executive authority versus rule of law. In doing so it has overlooked the indirect and insidious effects the new law may have on the United States' largely successful counterterrorist campaign, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Feb 1, 2012

  • Report


    Cold-Case Investigations: An Analysis of Current Practices and Factors Associated with Successful Outcomes

    This report discusses cold-case investigations in the United States and examines factors associated with successful ones, reporting a survey of law enforcement agencies about their cold-case investigations and an analysis of four agencies' files.

    Oct 26, 2011

  • A woman is checked into the Orange County jail in Santa Ana, California, May 24, 2011, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters


    California's Prisoner Shuffle

    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.

    Aug 19, 2011

  • Report


    Case Weights for Federal Defender Organizations

    This report presents a system of case weights for estimating the funding and staffing requirements of federal defender organizations, discusses factors that might influence defender time expenditures, and describes how such weights should be used.

    Aug 18, 2011

  • Multimedia


    Rubin Explores Hidden Scale of Serious and Organized Crime

    At a TEDx event, Jennifer Rubin, Director of RAND Europe’s Communities, Safety and Justice Program, explored the hidden nature of the scale of serious and organized crime, such as drug and human trafficking, and suggested how a new approach inspired by methods used in the natural sciences could help to address these issues.

    Jun 3, 2011

  • Bus drivers across the West Midlands have been equipped with mini DNA kits to help police track anyone who spits at them or fellow passengers.


    Comparing Forensic DNA Evidence Systems in the United States and England

    This comparative analysis of English and U.S. forensic DNA databases and profiling attempted to confirm what many senior U.S. law enforcement officials believe: that the English criminal justice system has capitalized more fully on the crime-fighting potential of DNA evidence.

    Dec 20, 2010

  • Entrance to HM Prison Manchester (Strangeways)


    Reform or Radicalisation?

    Is prison a training ground for extremists? RAND Europe explores radicalisation and recruitment in European prisons.

    Mar 11, 2010

  • Report


    Tackling problem drug use

    Describes how the British Government's narrower focus of problem drug use on most significant harms may be useful, but carries risks and drawbacks. We find the UK Drug Strategy draws on robust evidence for drug treatment and drug-related crime.

    Feb 22, 2010

  • A man and woman at a table looking at papers


    Securing Rights for Crime Victims Through National Clinics

    The National Crime Victim Law Institute's victims' rights clinics have pushed the envelope of victims' rights in their state courts and are beginning to fulfill the intentions of their architects and funders.

    Dec 4, 2009