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.

  • Screen capture of a chart depicting the potential decrease in firearm death rates by state.

    Content

    These Three Firearm Restrictions Could Help Reduce Gun Deaths in Your State

    Sep 17, 2020

    States that put into effect the most restrictive combination of three common gun policies—regulating the way people use, carry and store their firearms—could see a small but meaningful reduction of firearm deaths.

  • Camden County Police officers patrol on the streets of Camden, New Jersey, amid nationwide protests in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, June 11, 2020, photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Reuters

    Report

    Would Law Enforcement Leaders Support Defunding the Police?

    Aug 20, 2020

    Police have expressed frustration with being expected to handle complex social problems such as homelessness and substance use. Budgeting less money for police and more for other public safety strategies might appeal to law enforcement if these efforts relieve some of the unrealistic expectations on them.

Explore Homeland Security and Public Safety

  • Sudan's Defence Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf, head of Military Transitional Council, and the military's chief of staff Lieutenant General Kamal Abdul Murof Al-mahi shake hands after being sworn in as leaders of Military Transitional Council in Sudan in this still image taken from video on April 11, 2019, photo by Sudan TV/Reuters

    Commentary

    Can Sudan Escape Its History as a Hub for Violent Extremists?

    Sudan continues to confront major challenges that could derail its path back to the mainstream of international politics. Sudan must show that it is no longer a haven for terrorist and violent extremist groups and that it is committed to ensuring that this remains true.

    Jul 24, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Reasonable and Risk-Based? Replacing NFIP Generally Subsidized Rates with a Means-Tested Subsidy

    Our results suggest that the savings associated with replacing subsidies with our proposed means-tested subsidy would be $183 million per year if all households in the study area hold NFIP policies, or a savings of approximately $3800 per policy.

    Jul 22, 2020

  • Multimedia

    Practitioners’ Views on Barriers and Opportunities

    In this Events @ RAND podcast based on the Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium held at RAND in 2019, Joshua Miller, Toney L. Earl Jr., Tony Lewis Jr., and Andrew Morton discuss strategies for overcoming barriers and improving employment outcomes through reentry, community supervision, and employer-driven programs.

    Jul 22, 2020

  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy stands watch at Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles, California, October 3, 2012, photo by Jason Redmond/Reuters

    Commentary

    An Uncertain Future for Jail Reform in Los Angeles

    There is momentum in Los Angeles County to do the difficult work of criminal justice reform. This will take considerable investments of time and resources, as well as a commitment to implementing new strategies and evaluating their effectiveness along the way.

    Jul 21, 2020

  • A man seated in front of a computer monitor in a dark room, photo by tommaso79/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Deadly Terrorist Threats Abound. Here Are the Key Dangers

    Today's self-selecting solo terrorists answer only to their god, whether seeking to destroy all government, pursuing racial separation or genocidal goals, expressing sexual dissatisfaction, or simply wanting to leave their mark. Military operations are irrelevant. This is a deeper societal problem.

    Jul 20, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Practitioner Approaches to Measuring Community Resilience: The Analysis of the Resilience of Communities to Disasters Toolkit

    In this article, we present the Analysis of the Resilience of Communities to Disasters (ARC-D) toolkit, a practical toolkit developed by an international aid organization, GOAL, over the course of a decade of practice.

    Jul 17, 2020

  • A police vehicle stops a sedan on a routine traffic stop photo by ASP Inc/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Autonomous Road Vehicles and Law Enforcement

    Autonomous vehicles promise many benefits, but questions remain about how law enforcement officers will interact with them. What will be the biggest challenges—and how can law enforcement prepare to address them?

    Jul 16, 2020

  • Multimedia

    Certification, Background Checks, and Stigma

    In this Events @ RAND podcast based on the Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium held at RAND in 2019, Peter Leasure, Michael Vuolo, and Naomi F. Sugie present evidence from employer and job-seeker studies on Ban-the-Box, Certificates of Relief, and background checks.

    Jul 15, 2020

  • Examples of Facebook pages displayed during a House Intelligence Committee meeting on Russian use of social media to influence U.S. elections in Washington, D.C., November 1, 2017, photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    Commentary

    How You Can Fight Russia's Plans to Troll Americans During Campaign 2020

    The goal of Russian interference is to trigger emotional reactions and drive people to ideological extremes, making it nearly impossible to build a consensus. But Americans are less likely to have their emotions manipulated if they are aware that manipulation is the goal.

    Jul 14, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Research in Brief: Comprehensive Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement

    Any institution-from workplaces to schools to correctional settings to law enforcement agencies-seeking to prevent suicide must take a comprehensive approach. Science suggests that there are five components that define what such an approach looks like.

    Jul 14, 2020

  • Detroit police line up next to an armored vehicle following a rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Detroit, Michigan, June 1, 2020, photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Reform Military Gear Transfers to Police

    Police officers equipped like soldiers have appeared on the streets of American cities amid recent protests over George Floyd's killing. How should lawmakers reform a program that makes use of excess equipment and is popular with police departments, but that also raises substantial concerns about the militarization of policing?

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2020

    Feature stories explore what research says about learning loss after extended school breaks; how stress and trauma affect individual and community health; and how a critical care surge response tool is helping hospitals during the pandemic.

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Supporters of the Houthi movement attend a rally to mark the 4th anniversary of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen's war, in Sanaa, Yemen, March 26, 2019, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Report

    Could Yemen's Houthis Be the Next Hizballah?

    Iran turns to sponsor-proxy relationships to expand its reach in the Middle East while minimizing the risk of inviting direct conflict. The Houthis give Iran reach into Yemen and the Red Sea, providing a means to harass its rival, Saudi Arabia. Will Iran further invest in the Houthis?

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Blog

    Online Shopping, Living in a Riskier World, Stress in Communities: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Americans' online shopping habits during the pandemic, living in a riskier world, how stress builds in communities, and more.

    Jul 10, 2020

  • Silhouettes of police and other people, photo by wildpixel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Transform Policing

    The killing of George Floyd and other abuses of power have brought about growing calls to alter how we conduct public safety and, more broadly, criminal justice in America. Evidence shows there is substantial room for improvement.

    Jul 9, 2020

  • U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan at the annual NATO heads of government summit in Watford, UK, December 4, 2019, photo by Peter Nicholls/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Way Forward for the United States and Turkey

    Relations between the United States and Turkey, while fraught with tension, must also align with a mutual interest in stability in the Middle East and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It may be important for the region's stability and prosperity to find constructive ways for the United States to work with Turkey in the years ahead.

    Jul 9, 2020

  • A divided community where one side is getting flooded, illustration by Meriel Waissman

    Essay

    Stress Accumulates in Marginalized Communities, Generation After Generation

    Psychologists and biologists have known for years that prolonged stress is toxic to the human body. A better understanding of how stress builds in communities—and the burden it puts on them—can lead to more effective policies to address it.

    Jul 8, 2020

  • Episode 1 of Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records

    Multimedia

    How Do People Stop Committing Crimes?

    In this Events @ RAND podcast based on the Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium held at RAND in 2019, senior policy researcher Shawn D. Bushway explains the concept of desistance, or how and when people with criminal records stop offending.

    Jul 8, 2020

  • Open laptop in front of a stack of books, photo by Nutthaseth Vanchaichana/Getty Images

    Journal Article

    The State of the Science in Opioid Policy Research

    The rigor of study design varies notably across policy categories, highlighting the need for broader adoption of rigorous methods in opioid policy research.

    Jul 7, 2020

  • Crab fisherman Mike Taylor Jr. shows his catch of blue crabs in Pointe a la Hache near New Orleans, US, 6 April 2015. 20 April 2015 marks the 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico which took place on 20 April 2010. Photo by Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/dpa/Alamy Live New

    Report

    Building Community Resilience to Large Oil Spills

    How can communities build resilience to large oil spills? This report examines the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and how communities' resilience to similar threats could be improved.

    Jul 6, 2020