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.

  • NATO flag against a background of binary numbers, photo by robsonphoto/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Cyberspace as a Military Domain: Lessons for NATO

    Jun 20, 2019

    In 2016, NATO identified cyberspace as a new operational domain. What steps has the alliance taken since then to bolster its cyber capabilities? And what are the greatest challenges that still lie ahead?

  • Bags of fentanyl at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area at the International Mail Facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, November 29, 2017, photo by Joshua Lott/Reuters

    Commentary

    China's Ban on Fentanyl Drugs Won't Likely Stem America's Opioid Crisis

    May 22, 2019

    Given China's recent decision to ban the unauthorized manufacture of fentanyl, authorities there appear to recognize a growing problem. But China cannot solve the U.S. opioid problem. The United States could do more to reduce demand for opioids as well as drug users' exposure to these powerful drugs.

Explore Homeland Security and Public Safety

  • A woman speaking in a community meeting, photo by Hero Images/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    How to Strengthen Terrorism Prevention Efforts

    Shortfalls in national terrorism prevention efforts have come not only from limited programmatic focus and resource investment, but also from critics seeking to constrain or halt such efforts. The most effective path for the U.S. government would be to support state, local, nongovernmental, and private terrorism prevention efforts rather than building capabilities itself.

    Feb 14, 2019

  • Report

    Practical Terrorism Prevention: Executive Summary

    Researchers examined past U.S. countering violent extremism and terrorism prevention efforts and explored options to strengthen them. This document summarizes findings from the main report.

    Feb 14, 2019

  • Aerial view of Manhattan, New York, with overlay of icons, photo by Dong Wenjie/Getty Images and DigitalVision Vectors

    Report

    Practical Terrorism Prevention

    Current terrorism prevention capabilities are relatively limited. In law enforcement, government, and some community organizations, there is a perceived need for federal efforts to help strengthen local capacity. However, any federal efforts will need to focus on building community trust to be successful.

    Feb 14, 2019

  • Donald Trump holds up a photo of a border wall design in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 11, 2019, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    Terrorists on the Border and Government Secrecy

    Detailed information on how many would-be terrorists may have sought to cross the southern border is being withheld on the grounds that it is sensitive. The refusal of officials to offer a fuller explanation of the numbers illustrates how the continued expansion of secrecy in government is damaging the ability of the public to assess the risk and evaluate the response.

    Feb 13, 2019

  • Woman seated on the floor, surrounded by bills and receipts, photo by David Sacks/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What the Shutdown Revealed About the Fragility of American Life

    The government shutdown highlighted the lack of resilience many suffer from when they encounter unexpected economic events. The median American family has been losing ground for decades. Policy responses to address this situation will be complex and difficult, but are much needed.

    Feb 11, 2019

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials detain migrants from Central America after they crossed from Mexico, at the International Friendship Park in San Diego county, CA, January 16, 2019, photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Wall Is Not the Only Answer

    The president and Congress have just days to negotiate an agreement over border security, or the government may shut down once again. Until a bipartisan effort is made to reform U.S. immigration laws, policy options to address the incentives that cause people to risk their lives to come to the border to claim asylum will continue to be limited.

    Feb 8, 2019

  • Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi listen as President Donald Trump delivers his second State of the Union address in Washington, February 5, 2019

    Blog

    State of the Union: Insights from RAND

    To shed light on a wide range of topics that figured in President Trump's second State of the Union address, we've rounded up insights from some of RAND's objective and nonpartisan research, analysis, and expertise.

    Feb 6, 2019

  • Brochure

    What Is the Impact of NYPD's Neighborhood Policing?

    In 2018, RAND researchers began an evaluation to assess the effects of the New York City Police Department's Neighborhood Policing philosophy on public safety and the public's trust in police. The results of this work will be available in 2021.

    Feb 6, 2019

  • Hawaii Air National Guardsmen evaluate network vulnerabilities during the Po’oihe 2015 Cyber Security Exercise at the University of Hawaii Manoa Campus, Honolulu, HI, June 4, 2015, photo by Airman 1st Class Robert Cabuco/Hawaii Air National Guard

    Commentary

    Developing an Objective, Repeatable Scoring System for a Vulnerability Equities Process

    If governments seek to create an objective framework for decision making about whether or when to disclose software vulnerabilities, what might that look like? What questions should be included, how should they influence the outcome and how can one interpret the results?

    Feb 5, 2019

  • A needle used for shooting heroin and other opioids litters the ground on a sidewalk in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 26, 2017, photo by Charles Mostoller/Reuters

    News Release

    Reformulation of OxyContin to Discourage Abuse Linked to Higher Rates of Hepatitis C Infections

    To discourage drug abuse, the pain medicine OxyContin was reformulated in 2010, making it difficult to crush or dissolve. This led to a large rise in hepatitis C infections as drug abusers switched from OxyContin to injectable heroin.

    Feb 4, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Association Among County-Level Economic Factors, Clinician Supply, Metropolitan or Rural Location, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

    This analysis found a significant association among higher long-term unemployment, higher mental health clinician shortage areas, and higher county-level rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome.

    Feb 1, 2019

  • Nurses working in a neonatal unit

    News Release

    Study Links Long-Term Unemployment to Increase in Babies Born with Opioid Withdrawal

    Babies born after being exposed to opioids before birth are more likely to be delivered in regions of the U.S. with high rates of long-term unemployment and lower levels of mental health services.

    Jan 30, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Effect of Age on Opioid Prescribing, Overdose, and Mortality in Massachusetts, 2011 to 2015

    Older age was the strongest predictor of undergoing potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) among individuals who were prescribed opioids. PIP was also associated with risk of adverse outcomes in both older and younger adults.

    Jan 29, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Marital Status as a Partial Mediator of the Associations Between Young Adult Substance Use and Subsequent Substance Use Disorder: Application of Causal Inference Methods

    Remaining unmarried may be an important mechanism that perpetuates substance use among heavy alcohol users and moderate and heavy marijuana users.

    Jan 29, 2019

  • A boy on a bicycle cools off from the extreme heat from an opened fire hydrant in Brooklyn, New York, July 2, 2018

    Commentary

    Triaging Climate Change

    There are many opportunities to manage climate risk around the world, but not everything can be saved. Delaying triage of climate damages could leave societies making ad hoc decisions instead of focusing on protecting the things they value most.

    Jan 23, 2019

  • A U.S. Border Patrol agent at the San Ysidro port of entry from Mexico in San Diego, California, November 9, 2018

    Commentary

    Shutdown Could Provide Opening for Adversaries to Corrupt Those Protecting the U.S. Homeland

    Every day that the government shutdown continues prolongs the financial hardship for those on the front lines protecting the United States and gives cartels and transnational criminal organizations an opening to try to corrupt the DHS ranks. As negotiations continue to stall, the Trump administration and Congress should consider taking steps to guard against this vulnerability.

    Jan 22, 2019

  • Fred Pardee attending a Pardee RAND Graduate School Board of Governors meeting on March 28, 2014

    Content

    Fred Pardee: Making a Difference

    Fred Pardee grew up in the shadow of World War II and has spent his life supporting the cause of human dignity and development around the world. He has given more than $22 million over his lifetime to RAND and the Pardee RAND Graduate School to support research on some of the world's most pressing problems.

    Jan 18, 2019

  • Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gesture as they hold Hezbollah flags in Marjayoun, Lebanon, May 7, 2018

    Commentary

    Helping Lebanon Succeed Is More Than About Countering Iran

    As tensions increase on the Israeli-Lebanese border the possibility is growing that a confrontation with Iran may move from Syria to Lebanon. For the United States, turning its back on this small but strategically critical country and conflating U.S. interests in Lebanon solely with countering Iran could be short-sighted, and a missed opportunity at a time when the region has few.

    Jan 16, 2019

  • A TSA employee checks the documents of a traveler at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2019

    Commentary

    Don't Lose Sight of the Nameless Government Workers

    There are 800,000 government employees that aren't being paid during the partial U.S. government shutdown. These workers play a critical role in making America safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.

    Jan 14, 2019

  • Accountability in Cyberspace: The Problem of Attribution

    Multimedia

    How to Achieve Accountability in Cyberspace

    Identifying the responsible party behind malicious cyber incidents is necessary for holding bad actors accountable. But there are many challenges that accompany cyber attribution. Creating an independent, global organization that investigates and publicly assigns blame for major hacks could help.

    Jan 14, 2019