Sentencing

Sentencing decisions—from community orders in the UK to mental health courts, mandatory minimum sentences, and "three strikes" laws in the United States—are increasingly under the microscope to lower crime rates and reduce recidivism. RAND has conducted evaluations of specific sentencing and corrections policies since well before the first three-strikes laws passed in 1994, and has reported on the costs and benefits of various sentencing laws, including whether they do in fact reduce crime.

  • Dissertation

    Treatment Not Custody: Process and Impact Evaluation of the Santa Monica Homeless Community Court

    This dissertation is a process and impact evaluation of the Santa Monica Homeless Community Court.

    Sep 18, 2018

  • Three inmates listening to a prison guard

    Report

    An Alternative Future for the Corrections Sector

    Experts agree that the main role of the U.S. corrections sector should be to help improve offenders' behavior. Better staff training, the elimination of operations that generate revenue, and a cultural shift to prioritize rehabilitation over punishment could help.

    Oct 26, 2017

  • Scales of justice in front of computer monitors with code

    Commentary

    The Intersection of Algorithms and an Individual's Rights

    Data collection, and our reliance on it, have evolved extremely rapidly. The resulting algorithms have proved invaluable for organizing, evaluating and utilizing information. How do individuals' rights come in to play, when data about their lives is compiled to create algorithms, and the resulting tools are applied to judge them?

    Sep 29, 2017

  • A man being arrested for drug possession

    Commentary

    Should California Drop Criminal Penalties for Drug Possession?

    Californians have a lot to consider when it comes to decriminalizing possession. But now is the time for a rigorous discussion about removing criminal penalties for drug possession, rather than rushing to judgment in the heat of a future election season.

    Jul 20, 2017

  • News Release

    Too Little Evidence Available to Determine Cost Savings of Crime Reform Initiative for Los Angeles County

    While a California ballot initiative reducing penalties for some criminal offenses promised to save local governments money, quantifying such savings will require significant changes in the way local agencies track workloads.

    Jun 15, 2017

  • Prison cells

    Report

    Too Little Evidence Available to Determine Cost Savings of Crime Reform Initiative for Los Angeles County

    While a California ballot initiative reducing penalties for some criminal offenses promised to save local governments money, quantifying such savings will require significant changes in the way local agencies track workloads.

    Jun 15, 2017

  • Man opening a black box with a light inside

    Commentary

    No Company Should Be Able to Keep You from Checking Your Government's Math

    Data and computer models are becoming more and more important for making policy decisions on everything from prison sentences to tax bills. But citizens should be able to “check the math” on decisions that affect them.

    Jan 18, 2017

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    Project

    Programme Examines Drugs, Policing and Criminal Justice in Europe

    Crime, violence, substance misuse and illicit markets harm communities across Europe. RAND Europe helps decisionmakers at national and pan-European levels assess threats and identify and develop policies to improve safety, security and other outcomes.

    Oct 6, 2016

  • Handcuffed man standing in a courtroom

    Commentary

    Drug Dependence: Treatment Over Incarceration

    Drug dependence imposes significant costs to society and traditional criminal justice responses like imprisonment do not reduce crime. More quality research on alternative sanctions could help police, prosecutors, and judges expand their options while helping users get treatment.

    Oct 3, 2016

  • News Release

    Frequent Alcohol Testing Combined with Swift, Certain and Modest Sanctions Is Associated with Drop in Mortality

    An innovative program that requires alcohol-involved offenders to abstain from alcohol and submit to frequent tests was associated with a 4 percent drop in deaths. The associations were most evident among causes of death related to excessive alcohol use, such as circulatory conditions.

    Feb 9, 2016

  • Leader of a group of armed protesters Ammon Bundy talks to the media at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon, January 8, 2016

    Commentary

    Oregon Standoff Shouldn't Have an Anti-Terrorism Twist

    Dwight and Steven Hammond were charged under a law enacted to fight terrorism, not rein in wayward ranchers. Anti-terrorist laws should not be used to strengthen prosecutors' hands in nonterrorist prosecutions—it makes national security needs look like an instrument of oppression.

    Jan 13, 2016

  • Prisoner wearing handcuffs in a courtroom

    Commentary

    What's Next on the Convicted Terrorist's Timeline?

    As inmates near the end of their sentences for terrorism-related offenses, and with some individuals already freed, it's time to explore what considerations may be necessary.

    Nov 4, 2015

  • French special intervention police conduct a house-to-house search in Longpont, northeast of Paris, January 8, 2015

    Commentary

    Different Countries, Different Ways of Countering Terrorism

    France and the United States follow different approaches in dealing with terrorist suspects. This divergence reflects differences in the threat, historical experience, law, available resources, and public attitudes. France faces a more serious terrorist threat than the U.S. does.

    Mar 2, 2015

  • gavel and laptop

    Project

    Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance

    The RAND Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance, or CCEG, is committed to improving public understanding of corporate ethics, law, and governance, and to identifying specific ways that businesses can operate ethically, legally, and profitably at the same time.

    Dec 31, 2014

  • man being arrested for drunk driving after an accident

    Commentary

    California's Misguided Approach

    Despite the frequency with which people are convicted of multiple DUI offenses, California continues to require that all individuals with a DUI attend a 30- or 60-hour education program. However, these programs aren't that effective.

    Mar 17, 2014

  • inmates outside the Orleans Parish Prison

    Commentary

    New Approach to Prison and the War on Drugs

    If you want to reduce cocaine consumption and drug-related crime, you get more bang for the buck if you put money into treatment rather than paying for the increase in incarceration produced by federal mandatory minimum sentences, writes Beau Kilmer.

    Aug 13, 2013

  • Teens working together at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

    Commentary

    Advancing Social Outcomes: Private Investors Could Be Part of the Solution

    Under a Social Impact Bond, private investors — rather than the government — provide up-front funding for programs that tackle such challenges as recidivism or homelessness. If these programs succeed, the government pays some of the savings back to the investors.

    May 14, 2013

  • Alcohol and implied domestic violence

    Research Brief

    An Innovative Way to Curb Problem Drinking: South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project

    South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project, in which individuals with alcohol-involved offenses submit to breathalyzer tests twice per day or wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet at all times, reduced repeat DUI arrests at the county level by 12 percent.

    Dec 12, 2012

  • liquor and keys

    Journal Article

    Frequent Alcohol Testing Program Reduces DUI and Domestic Violence Arrests

    In its first six years, an innovative alcohol monitoring program called the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Project reduced county-level repeat DUI arrests by 12 percent and domestic violence arrests by 9 percent.

    Dec 6, 2012

  • Yasser Esam Hamdi in Camp X-ray, Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Cuba, April 4, 2002

    Commentary

    A Final Word on the NDAA

    While I have no doubt of Levin's determination to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens, incremental adjustments and seemingly small compromises, each sensible under the circumstances, can have a cumulative effect that erodes the very liberty we are trying to protect, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    May 7, 2012