Prison

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  • Prisoners gather around a computer following a graduation ceremony from a computer coding program at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California April 20, 2015

    Report

    Higher Education Programs in Prison Reduce Recidivism

    Aug 28, 2019

    Evidence shows that correctional education programs are effective—and cost-effective—at improving employment outcomes for participants and at helping to keep them from returning to prison. But given limited budgets, how can the long-term funding of these programs be sustained?

  • A worn-down prison block, photo by Tracy King/Adobe Stock

    Commentary

    Incarceration Rates: A Key Measure of Health in America

    Apr 3, 2020

    There's widespread agreement that incarceration has adverse effects on health and health equity, not just for prisoners but also for families and communities. That's one important reason why incarceration in the United States needs to be reduced.

Explore Incarceration

  • A statue of Lady Justice wearing a face mask, photos by Ulf, Honcharuk/Adobe Stock; design by Peter Soriano/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Lessons Learned from the Justice System's Pandemic Response

    Incarcerated populations, corrections staff, court personnel, and law enforcement were hit hard by COVID-19. At the same time, national protests after the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans increased pressure for criminal justice reform. Insights from this time could help the justice system prepare for future challenges.

    Apr 8, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Confinement as a Two-Stage Turning Point: Do Changes in Identity or Social Structure Predict Subsequent Changes in Criminal Activity?

    We build from prior work on desistance and reentry, contrasting our findings and highlighting the unique insight gained from, as well as challenges of, measuring individual change within our two-stage turning point model.

    Feb 2, 2021

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2021

    The cover story on the ’Internet of Bodies’ highlights the perils of devices that track personal health data and provide medical treatment. Other columns explore vaccine hesitancy, the high price of insulin in the U.S., and social justice in America.

    Jan 6, 2021

  • Officer speaking with prisoner behind bars, photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Better Support Can Be Provided to Ex–Service Personnel in the Criminal Justice System

    Former armed forces personnel make up the UK's largest group of male prisoners by occupation. What can police and government do to provide targeted support in the criminal justice system to those from a military background?

    Nov 30, 2020

  • Barbed wire fence surrounding a prison. Photo by fortton / Getty Images

    Journal Article

    Locking Up My Generation: Cohort Differences in Prison Spells Over the Life Course

    Our study highlights that the crime-punishment wave in the 1980s and 1990s created cohort differences in incarceration over the life course that changed the level of incarceration even decades after the wave.

    Oct 1, 2020

  • Candidates waiting for a job interview. A woman in a suit holds a clipboard in her lap. Photo by skynesher / Getty Images

    Journal Article

    A Policy Review of Employers' Open Access to Conviction Records

    In this review, we find that (a) US employers' use of conviction information is not clearly aligned with the risk of future criminal behavior or employer costs, and (b) using such information leads to hiring errors that pose costs to society.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • The exterior wall of a prison surrounded by barbed wire fence. Photo by eddiesimages / Getty Images

    Report

    Risk and Needs Assessments in Prisons: Identifying High-Priority Needs for Using Evidence-Based Practices

    Prison systems are underresourced and might lack the capacity to implement risk and needs assessments that reduce recidivism. A panel of experts identified ways to address and improve the use of these tools in prisons.

    Sep 9, 2020

  • A young Black boy writing at a table, photo by kali9/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Elevating Equity in Los Angeles Juvenile and Criminal Justice Reform

    At age 13, Black children are placed in juvenile detention at nearly 3.5 times the rate of white children. By age 17, that ratio increases to 4.5 to 1. And the trend continues into adulthood. Without ongoing attention and deliberate policies and programs, injustices are likely to persist.

    Aug 12, 2020

  • Multimedia

    From the Community Corrections Lens

    In this Events @ RAND podcast based on the Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium held at RAND in 2019, Veronica Cunningham and Nicole Jarrett offer their perspectives on the next steps that policymakers, practitioners, and employers can take to equalize employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records. RAND's Dionne Barnes-Proby hosts.

    Jul 29, 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Report

    Report

    Data-Informed Jails: Challenges and Opportunities

    Jails produce vast amounts of data because of the expanding scope of services they are expected to provide. However, most jails are not using these data to improve operations or outcomes. A panel of experts identified ways to address this challenge.

    May 4, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    "Nothing Is More Opaque Than Absolute Transparency": The Use of Prior History to Guide Sentencing

    This article reviews prior literature, evaluating an algorithm used to determine prison sentencing for criminals with prior history.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • Report

    Breaking Barriers: A Rapid Rehousing and Employment Pilot Program for Adults on Probation in Los Angeles County: Evaluation Report

    This report presents early findings on the progress of the Breaking Barriers program, which provides Los Angeles County adults on probation with a time-limited housing subsidy, case management, and employment supports.

    Mar 31, 2020

  • Tanya Beverly is part of a program that diverts people with mental illness out of the county jail and into supportive housing, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Essay

    Supportive Housing Can Help Keep People with Mental Illness Out of Jail

    Hundreds of thousands of people with serious mental illnesses cycle in and out of American jails every year. In Los Angeles, some of them are getting diverted into a supportive housing program where they can get the treatment they need. And the results are promising.

    Feb 27, 2020

  • U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his third State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2020, photo by Doug Mills/Pool via Reuters

    Blog

    State of the Union 2020: Insights from RAND

    The final State of the Union address of President Trump's four-year term may be viewed through the lens of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the evening. But the speech touched on a range of policy challenges that will remain, regardless of how politics play out in 2020.

    Feb 5, 2020

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Los Angeles County Jails Could Divert More Individuals to Community-Based Mental Health Services

    Summarizes findings of a report in which researchers estimated the percentage of individuals with mental health disorders in Los Angeles County jails who could be diverted from traditional criminal justice processing to community-based care.

    Feb 3, 2020