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.

  • Colonies of E. coli bacteria grown on a Hektoen enteric agar plate, photo by CDC via Reuters

    Report

    New Perils for Global Health Security

    Dec 13, 2019

    There are two main threats to global health security. The first is the presence of slow-burn problems that may not receive enough attention—until it's too late. The second: emerging technologies that have beneficial uses but can also be weaponized.

  • A Chicago police officer monitors the Police Observation Devices on computer screens at the 7th District police station in Chicago, Illinois, January 5, 2018, photo by Joshua Lott/Reuters

    Report

    Real-Time Crime Centers Can Help Reduce Crime

    Dec 4, 2019

    District-level strategic decision support centers used by Chicago police enabled novel responses to crime problems that were previously impossible. Crime reductions varied between 3 and 17 percent. However, there are risks to the long-term support of the centers.

Explore Homeland Security and Public Safety

  • Illustration of a large gavel crashing down on self-driving cars, illustration by Chris Philpot

    Essay

    Who's Responsible When Your Car Gets Hacked?

    Cars are becoming "fast, heavy artificial intelligences on wheels," a RAND report cautions, and that means they're becoming vulnerable. Potentially billions of dollars ride on the question of who has the legal responsibility to keep hackers from grabbing the wheel or cutting the brakes.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Traffic on flooded street, photo by Allkindza/Getty Images

    Journal Article

    Creating a Water Risk Index to Improve Community Resilience

    We demonstrate two methods to combine water hazard data with a derived water vulnerability index to characterize water risk. We then compare the costs of two potential government policies: buyout of the home versus funding for foundation elevation.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Flood Damage Reduction Benefits and Costs in Louisiana's 2017 Coastal Master Plan

    This article builds on the modeling analysis conducted for Louisiana's 2017 Coastal Master Plan. We use the Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment model to project coastal flood damage over time under different scenarios and with the master plan implemented.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Senior Policy Researcher Benjamin Preston, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    The Science of Climate Policy: Q&A with Benjamin Preston

    Benjamin Preston, a senior policy researcher and director of RAND's Community Health and Environmental Policy Program, specializes in climate risk and adaptation, disaster recovery, and resilience. In this Q&A, he discusses common misperceptions about climate change and how to decarbonize the U.S. economy.

    Oct 22, 2019

  • Digital concept of a brain, photo by Vertigo3d/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Our Future Lies in Making AI Robust and Verifiable

    We are hurtling towards a future in which AI is omnipresent. This AI-enabled future is blinding in its possibilities for prosperity, security, and well-being. Yet, it is also crippling in its fragility. What might it take for it all to come to a screeching halt?

    Oct 22, 2019

  • A convoy of U.S. vehicles after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq, October 21, 2019, photo by Ari Jalal/Reuters

    Commentary

    How the U.S. Withdrawal from Syria Provides a Boost to ISIS

    President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria could provide the ISIS terrorist group with the time and space to regrow its organization and extend its networks throughout the Middle East. The longer-term strategic effects of the decision could reverberate in the region for years to come.

    Oct 21, 2019

  • 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

  • Blog

    School Start Times, Streaming Apps, Brexit: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on later school start times, how streaming apps could help Americans be more active, the latest Brexit news, and more.

    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 it 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

  • Cadets from Class 18-2 at the Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy work on assignments during one of their classes in Pierce, Idaho on Sept. 10, 2018, photo by Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur/U.S. Air National Guard

    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

  • Blog

    Virtual Societal Warfare, Iran, Opioids: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the risk of virtual societal welfare, Iran's domestic debates, federal policy options for supervised consumption sites, and more.

    Oct 11, 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 2019 to support improved analysis and understanding of the effects of gun laws.

    Oct 10, 2019

  • Content

    State Firearm Law Navigator

    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.

    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 harm. Social manipulation techniques are evolving beyond disinformation and cyberattacks on infrastructure sites. How can democracies protect themselves?

    Oct 9, 2019

  • Naloxone kits as distributed in British Columbia, Canada

    Research Brief

    Understanding America's Surge in Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids

    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.

    Oct 7, 2019