Cost-Benefit Analysis of Criminal Justice Reforms

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Criminal Justice Reforms
National Institute of Justice
John Roman
Cost Benefit Analysis Criminal Justice Cover

Policymakers, philanthropists and others interested in what works in reforming criminal justice policy and practice are concerned traditionally with whether new approaches have better outcomes than business as usual. But funders at all levels increasingly see themselves as investors and are concerned not only with outcomes but also with costs and benefits. They ask whether the investment of additional resources is worth the added costs — and whether they will see those benefits down the road in their budgets. A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) can help answer these questions, but its application to criminology can be tricky.