We encourage you to explore Vera's extensive resource library, built up by decades of expert research, analysis, and real-world application. Vera produces a wide variety of resources about our work, including publications, podcasts, and videos, dating from our founding in 1961 to the present. You can search these resources using the filters below to sort by type of resource, project, or topic. Enter part of the title in the search box to look for a specific resource.
The disproportionate number of people with behavioral health disorders involved in the criminal justice system puts a tremendous strain on scarce public resources and has a huge impact on health care and criminal justice budgets. This research summary demonstrates that with appropriate treatment and access to community-based services, this population is less likely to be incarcerated and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives—while resulting in substantial costs savings.
This is Part 2 of a training that provides practical resources to meet the growing demand for cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in justice policy. The training is led by economist Michael Wilson, who worked with the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission and is former director of the state's Statistical Analysis Center. Part 2 provides an exercise that estimates the costs of crime and a review of a CBA. It also discusses how to use CBA in decision making.
Watch Washington State Senator Karen Fraser and Tina Chiu of the Vera Institute of Justice lead a discussion that will help legislators, legislative staff, and other policymakers learn about using cost-benefit analysis for criminal justice policy.
Jail and prison reentry services are designed to help people who are released into the community and are associated with lower rates of repeat criminal activity and reincarceration as well as improved public safety. However, providing reentry programs in corrections settings is challenging—particularly in jails, where stays are typically short and turnover is high. In 2010, with support from The California Endowment, the Vera Institute of Justice partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and community-based organizations to assess reentry services for people leaving the L.A. County Jail. Vera researchers examined existing services, analyzed their strengths and weaknesses, and recommended changes that could increase the efficacy of interventions.
Over the past two decades, New York became one of the first states to significantly reduce its entire correctional population. A report co-authored by Vera President and Director Michael Jacobson contends that a shift in New York City’s policing practices in the 1990s—away from felony arrests and towards arrests for low-level offenses—was largely responsible for the state’s reduction in incarceration. Demonstrating how local policies can have a dramatic impact on state correctional systems, the findings also counter the argument that lowering prison and jail populations will trigger increases in crime rates.
Christian Henrichson, senior policy analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice and Valerie Levshin, a former Vera policy analyst, provide a practical training on how to estimate marginal costs and collect data from justice agencies. Marginal costs differ in important ways from average costs and more accurately measure the economic impact of initiatives.
Tina Sanford, director of the New York State Office of Victim Services, Kathryn McCollister, assistant professor and health economist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and Valerie Levshin, former policy analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice, provide an overview of victim costs, the methods used to estimate them, and how to use victim cost information in a cost-benefit analysis.
Watch Ben Bryant, an economist with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Carl Matthies, a senior policy analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice, for a webinar about sensitivity analysis. This webinar is a fairly technical presentation that requires undergraduate-level knowledge of microeconomics, statistics, and probability. Viewers will gain a better understanding of how sensitivity analysis can be used, particularly in justice-related cost-benefit analyses.
Watch Elizabeth Drake, senior research associate at the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, and Valerie Levshin, a former policy analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice, discuss the role of evaluation in cost-benefit studies. Before starting a cost-benefit analysis of a criminal justice policy or program, you need to know: Does the initiative work? This training is designed for people interested in meta-analysis and/or conducting cost-benefit studies of criminal justice programs and policies.
Craig Prins, executive director of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, and Sarah Galgano, policy analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice, discuss how to use cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to inform justice policy decisions. Drawing on examples from Craig's work in Oregon, the presentation explores the role of CBA in policy decisions as well as questions policymakers should ask about CBA results.