Vera's Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit has developed a national knowledge bank for cost-benefit analysis in criminal justice to help practitioners and policymakers better understand the budgetary impact of criminal justice policy choices.
With support from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance, Vera has developed the national Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice (CBKB). CBKB consists of a website that serves as a clearinghouse for resources and ongoing research on cost-benefit analysis in criminal justice as well as an active center of a growing community of practice. Original materials—including podcasts, videos, and a cost-benefit toolkit—are developed specifically for CBKB to provide general education and training on criminal justice cost-benefit analysis to a variety of national audiences. Vera will also convene policymakers, practitioners, and cost-benefit subject matter experts in roundtable discussions on cost-benefit topics of emerging interest.
Why This Project Matters
Few jurisdictions have a sense of the return on investment they are getting from their criminal justice system expenditures. Money is spent and assumptions are made about outcomes—financial and substantive—without much notion of the real costs or benefits incurred. Yet this information is highly relevant to the decisions policymakers need to make. CBKB will help to broaden the knowledge base of practitioners and policymakers about criminal justice cost-benefit analysis, deepen the knowledge and practice in this area, and support practitioners in building their capacity to promote, use, and interpret cost-benefit analysis in criminal justice settings.
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