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.

  • A shadow of a hand holding a gun, photo by ugurhan/Getty Images

    Commentary

    'Stand Your Ground' Laws May Be Causing More Harm Than Good

    Sep 12, 2019

    Americans have debated whether “stand your ground” laws or gun-free zones make us safer or less safe for decades. These are debates about factual matters that are, in principle, knowable. Without research on these and other topics, bad laws will inadvertently be passed or retained.

  • Report

    Synthetic Opioids: An Unprecedented Crisis

    Aug 29, 2019

    The rise of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids is unlike any drug crisis in U.S. history. Limiting policy responses to existing approaches will likely be insufficient and may condemn many people to early deaths.

Explore Homeland Security and Public Safety

  • News Release

    Some Asian Nations Reforming Drug Policies; China Unlikely to Curb Fentanyl Exports in Short Term

    Strict policies traditionally embraced by Asian nations to discourage illicit drug use are beginning to change, with a few nations adopting alternative approaches while other nations are taking an even harder line against drugs.

    May 15, 2019

  • Report

    Strategic Surveillance for Food Safety: Designing a surveillance approach and considerations for implementation

    The Food Standards Agency engaged RAND Europe to design an approach to strategic surveillance for the UK food system. The study team produced an end-to-end approach, identified implementation steps and considered their impact and feasibility.

    May 13, 2019

  • Motion blur. Abstract technology and cyber space environment, photo by Quardia/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Three 'New Rules' Worth Considering for the Internet

    Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has called for new internet regulation starting in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy, and data portability. But why stop there? His proposal could be expanded to include much more: security-by-design, net worthiness, and updated internet business models.

    May 10, 2019

  • Friend comforts uniformed United States Army soldier sitting on park bench, photo by debbiehelbing/Getty Images

    Testimony

    How to Reduce Suicide Among U.S. Veterans and Service Members

    The rate at which veterans and service members die by suicide is a national security problem that requires a comprehensive approach. Improved leadership and investments in access to high-quality care, identifying at-risk individuals, and reducing access to lethal means can make a difference.

    May 8, 2019

  • U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Shannon Eubanks pulls herself out from the Arctic Ocean during ice rescue training Oct. 3, 2018, about 715 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer NyxoL/U.S. Coast Guard

    Testimony

    Policy Options for Navigating Potential Arctic Scenarios

    Potential incidents in the Arctic could endanger safety, security, and environmental integrity. Regional cooperation and governance will influence demands on the maritime transportation system and the U.S. Coast Guard. By making the right investments, the United States can prepare for future problems in the region.

    May 8, 2019

  • Abbie Tingstad summarizes testimony presented before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on May 8, 2019.

    Multimedia

    Anticipating Policy Options for Addressing U.S. Arctic Hurdles

    An overview of testimony by Abbie Tingstad presented before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on May 8, 2019.

    May 8, 2019

  • Terri Tanielian summarizes testimony presented before the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security on May 8, 2019.

    Multimedia

    Reducing Suicide Among U.S. Veterans: Implications from RAND Research

    An overview of testimony by Terri Tanielian presented before the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security on May 8, 2019.

    May 8, 2019

  • Security personnel stand guard in front of St. Anthony's Shrine, days after a string of suicide bomb attacks across the island on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 29, 2019, photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

    Commentary

    Sri Lanka's Easter Attacks: Dismantling Myths to Prevent the Next Attack

    On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers hit six locations across Sri Lanka, killing more than 250 people. Even before ISIS claimed responsibility, there was no obvious connection to the quarter-century of violence that afflicted the nation until 2009. It is worth dismantling a few myths that might prevent better preparation for future attacks.

    May 6, 2019

  • Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces with a captured ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria, August 14, 2017, photo by Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

    Commentary

    Baghdadi Resurfaces: What It Means for ISIS's Global Terror Campaign

    With last week's release of a video of Abu Bakr Baghdadi, ISIS showed that it's still got some life left—literally. The most important message to take away from the Baghdadi video may be that the Islamic State does not need territory to survive and even thrive.

    May 6, 2019

  • The drug Naloxone on a table during a free Opioid Overdose Prevention Training class provided by Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, New York, April 5, 2018

    News Release

    Allowing Pharmacists to Directly Dispense Opioid Antidote Can Sharply Cut Opioid Overdose Deaths

    Allowing pharmacists to dispense the opioid antidote naloxone without a physician's prescription can sharply reduce the incidence of fatal opioid-related overdoses. States that adopted such laws saw fatal opioid overdoses fall by an average of 27 percent during the second year following passage and 34 percent in subsequent years.

    May 6, 2019

  • Brian Jackson discusses terrorism prevention strategies for the federal government, the nature of the homeland terrorist threat, past and current terrorism prevention policies, and gives recommendations for policymakers in this Congressional Briefing.

    Multimedia

    How Do We Prevent the Next Homegrown Terrorist?

    What is the right terrorism prevention strategy for the federal government? Brian Jackson discusses the nature of the homeland terrorist threat, past and current terrorism prevention policies, and gives recommendations for policymakers.

    May 3, 2019

  • Asylum seeking migrant families from Central America in a field after crossing the Rio Grande river into the U.S. from Mexico in Penitas, Texas, March 31, 2019, photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters

    Commentary

    Common Sense Solutions to the Border Crisis

    After years of declines, apprehensions of undocumented immigrants at the U.S.–Mexico border are set for their largest year-on-year increase in history. There is, in fact, a humanitarian crisis on the border. How did this come about? More importantly, what can be done to address it?

    May 2, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Understanding Cyber Collateral Damage

    We leverage existing collateral damage methodologies in order to explore methods for assessing collateral damage from cyber incidents.

    May 2, 2019

  • A bearded man appearing to be Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi speaks in a video released April 29, 2019, photo by Islamic State Group/Al Furqan Media Network/Reuters TV

    Commentary

    What the Baghdadi Video Means

    For the first time in five years, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the reclusive leader of ISIS, appeared on video. Why did he suddenly feel the need to show his face and speak to his followers? The answer concerns how recent events intersect with ISIS's long-term needs.

    Apr 30, 2019

  • An illustration of chain links represented in binary code, photo by denisismagilov / Adobe Stock

    Journal Article

    Content Analysis of Cyber Insurance Policies: How Do Carriers Price Cyber Risk?

    Thousands of data breaches occur each year with some costing millions of dollars. Consequently, cyber insurance has grown rapidly in the past decade. In this research, we conduct the first rigorous qualitative study of actual insurance policies.

    Apr 30, 2019

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: May-June 2019

    This issue describes RAND research efforts to help schoolkids suffering from trauma; to help health care providers get better, more meaningful feedback; and to use technology to improve the lives of displaced people throughout the world.

    Apr 29, 2019

  • Hands holding electronic vaping device and cigarettes, photo by AndreyPopov/Getty Images

    News Release

    Using Cannabis and Tobacco/Nicotine Together Is Linked to Heavier Use and Poorer Functioning Among Young Adults

    More than a third of young adults report using both cannabis and tobacco or nicotine products, providing a unique challenge to public health officials as cannabis is legalized in more jurisdictions.

    Apr 29, 2019

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, April 5, 2019, photo by Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via Reuters

    Commentary

    Mueller Report May Result in Russian Sanctions but Not Better Behavior

    The Mueller report could help mobilize political pressure in the United States for a stronger posture toward Russian activities that harm American and allied interests. But the Kremlin will likely still see propaganda, disinformation, and subterfuge as useful tools to undermine America's values and cohesion.

    Apr 26, 2019

  • Cigarettes on display in a store, photo by DoraZett / Adobe Stock

    Journal Article

    Do Graphic Warnings on Cigarettes Deter Purchases at Point of Sale?

    Graphic health warnings displayed on a tobacco “power wall” in a convenience store may reduce the chances of cigarette purchases for adult smokers with lower nicotine dependence. But they may have little influence on highly dependent smokers.

    Apr 26, 2019

  • Report

    An Analytic Inventory of DHS Headquarters Business Processes

    This report provides an inventory of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) analytic capabilities in the including current capabilities in use for decisionmaking, as DHS establishes an Analytic Agenda.

    Apr 24, 2019