Homeland Security and Public Safety

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RAND conducts analyses and makes recommendations to strengthen the U.S. Department of Homeland Security across its full set of missions to prevent terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage America's borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard and secure cyberspace, and strengthen preparedness and resilience. In the area of public safety, RAND research addresses drug policy, crime, prison reform, and prisoner reentry, and other topics.

  • Content

    State Firearm Law Navigator

    Oct 10, 2019

    Research on the effects of gun laws requires good data on when and where different types of laws have been implemented. The State Firearm Law Navigator shows which states since 1979 have enacted four types of laws: background checks, concealed-carry, stand-your-ground laws, and child-access prevention laws.

  • Naloxone kits as distributed in British Columbia, Canada

    Research Brief

    Understanding America's Surge in Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids

    Oct 7, 2019

    Although overdose deaths from heroin and prescription opioids have declined, deaths involving synthetic opioids are on the rise. Much of the current wave of overdoses is linked to one synthetic opioid: fentanyl.

Explore Homeland Security and Public Safety

  • Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the death anniversary of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in Tehran, Iran, June 4, 2017, photo by TIMA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iran, the Unitary State

    Current and future U.S. policy toward Iran must begin with the premise that the Islamic Republic is the sum of its parts and that to try to empower moderates or disempower hard-liners is naive. Rather, Washington should strive to deal with Iran as it is, not as Washington wishes it were.

    Oct 18, 2019

  • A solider using an RQ-11B Raven, a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle, in 2006, photo by SFC Michael Guillory/U.S. Army

    Report

    Could Autonomous Drones Make Blood Deliveries?

    Blood must be transported and stored in a certain way, and has a finite shelf life. Unmanned systems offer flexibility in chaotic or uncertain environments. Could autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles make the military's blood supply network more resilient?

    Oct 18, 2019

  • Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah wave Hezbollah and Lebanese flags at a rally marking the 10th anniversary of the end of Hezbollah's 2006 war with Israel, in Bint Jbeil, Lebanon August 13, 2016, photo by AZIZ TAHER/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iran's Proxies Are More Powerful Than Ever

    The Trump administration has pursued a so-called maximum pressure strategy designed to alter the course of Iran's foreign and security policies, which relies heavily on sanctions to change Iranian behavior. Financial sanctions are an important part of any counterterrorism strategy. But they aren't enough.

    Oct 16, 2019

  • Person pointing at a public transit map, photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images

    Report

    Incorporating Resilience into Transportation Planning

    A resilient transportation system is one in which critical assets are not exposed to hazards or, if they are, there is sufficient capacity to mitigate the negative effects. How can transportation planners better incorporate resilience into their decisionmaking?

    Oct 16, 2019

  • Report

    National Guard Youth ChalleNGe: Program Progress in 2017–2018

    This report documents the progress of participants in the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program in 2017-2018. ChalleNGe is a residential, quasi-military program for youth ages 16-18 who are experiencing difficulty in traditional high school.

    Oct 15, 2019

  • Journal Article

    National Trends in Food Insecurity and Congregation-Based Food Provision Between 1998 and 2012

    The objective of this study is to investigate the extent to which congregation-based food provision fluctuated with national food insecurity prevalence for the overall population, and for subgroups vulnerable to this condition.

    Oct 15, 2019

  • Fentanyl in powder form, at the site of a suspected crime scene, photo by United States Drug Enforcement Agency

    Commentary

    Synthetic Opioid Crisis Still Growing, Often Among Unwitting Users

    Although opioid prescriptions in the U.S. have fallen, opioid overdose deaths remain at historic levels. The continued spread of fentanyl and other illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids suggests the problem could still get worse.

    Oct 14, 2019

  • Report

    Literature on Personnel Vetting Processes and Procedures: Annotated Selected Bibliography

    To help inform the U.S. government in its efforts to improve the vetting processes for public trust and national security positions and protect its assets and information, the authors assembled a selected bibliography of relevant literature.

    Oct 14, 2019

  • Sacramento Capitol Building, California, USA

    Tool

    The RAND State Firearm Law Database

    As part of the Gun Policy in America initiative, RAND developed a longitudinal data set of state and District of Columbia firearm laws from 1979 to 2016 to support improved analysis and understanding of the effects of gun laws.

    Oct 10, 2019

  • Concept of artificial intelligence winning at chess, photo by JohnDWilliams/Getty Images

    Report

    The Emerging Risk of Virtual Societal Warfare

    Living in an information society opens unprecedented opportunities for hostile rivals to cause disruption, delay, inefficiency, and active harm. Social manipulation techniques are evolving beyond disinformation and cyberattacks on infrastructure sites. How can democracies protect themselves?

    Oct 9, 2019

  • The entrance to Lakhta-2 business center, which reportedly houses news organizations and internet research companies known for trolling on social media, in St. Petersburg, Russia, February 20, 2018, photo by Anton Vaganov/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Translation Troubles Can Tell Us About Russian Information Warfare

    Moscow's form of information warfare targeting the West has attracted significant international attention since 2014, especially through its reinvigorated military intelligence branch. Nonetheless, little research has focused on these campaigns' apparent shortcomings. Most notable among operational errors are the confusing translation mistakes that undermine attempts at covert influence efforts.

    Oct 4, 2019

  • A relative grieves at Beslan school No.1 at a wall with portraits of victims of school siege that took the lives of 331 people, in Beslan, Russia, September 1, 2005, photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

    Commentary

    A 50-Year-Old Terrorist Innovation Is Still Creating Life-and-Death Dramas

    Fifty years ago, urban guerrillas in Rio de Janeiro kidnapped the American ambassador to Brazil, setting off a worldwide wave of terrorist kidnappings that continues today. Although few of the terrorist groups that engaged in kidnapping over the past half century have survived, seizing hostages funded their operations and earned them notoriety. And for that reason, it will likely remain a mainstay of the terrorist tool kit.

    Sep 25, 2019

  • Gun inside open safe, photo by Creatas/Getty Images

    Testimony

    Scientific Evidence on the Effects of State Gun Laws

    There is some rigorous research on the effects of different gun laws that could help inform Pennsylvania's policy decisions. But states have an important role to play to expand the base of available science. Pennsylvania might consider funding research to better understand its gun violence prevention efforts.

    Sep 25, 2019

  • Journal Article

    College Attendance Type and Subsequent Alcohol and Marijuana Use in the U.S.

    This study examines the associations between college attendance and subsequent alcohol and marijuana use behaviors at multiple ages during young adulthood and adulthood, while rigorously controlling for baseline differences by college type.

    Sep 24, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Randomized Clinical Trial Examining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Individuals With a First-Time DUI Offense

    The current study aims to elucidate the effectiveness of the services DUI programs provide compared to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to prevent impaired driving.

    Sep 24, 2019

  • The al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria, holds thousands of detainees linked to ISIS, April 2, 2019, photo by Ali Hashisho/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Terrorist Threat Posed by Neglect and Indifference

    Western countries have seemingly washed their hands when it comes to the aftermath of ISIS. By ignoring the threat and leaving it to the Iraqis and Syrian Kurds to deal with European citizens in detention camps, Western nations are helping the terrorists' ideology persist.

    Sep 23, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Uruguay's Middle-Ground Approach to Cannabis Legalization

    This article discusses cannabis legalization in the Western Hemisphere, specifically Uruguay and the United States.

    Sep 23, 2019

  • Person sitting on a waiting room couch, photo by JosuOzkaritz/Getty Images

    Journal Article

    Access to Office-Based Buprenorphine Treatment in Areas With High Rates of Opioid-Related Mortality: An Audit Study

    In the six jurisdictions with the highest rate of opioid-related mortality in 2016, the most prominent barrier to accessing buprenorphine treatment was the difficulty of finding clinicians.

    Sep 23, 2019