Vera To Post Knowledge Bank For Justice Cost-Benefit Analysis


As criminal-justice leaders seek more cost-efficient ways of operating in difficult economic times, the New York City-based Vera Institute of Justice plans to establish an online Knowledge Bank for Cost-Benefit Analysis in Criminal Justice, Vera president Michael Jacobson told a U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday. The site will describe what is known about costs and benefits of a range of criminal-justice practices. At the conference, the federal agency said few governments in the U..S. “have a sense of the return on investment they are getting for their criminal justice expenditures.”

One state that is doing this kind of research is Oregon, where the average household investment in the corrections system alone has more than tripled in the last 25 years from $257 to $815 annually, said Craig Prins, director of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. Prins suggested that for some offenders, non-prison programs would be less expensive and have a greater chance of changing behavior. Oregon’s work is based partly on similar studies by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy that can be found at this site:

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