Vera Launches Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice Website

The Vera Institute of Justice today launched, the project website of the Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice (CBKB). The knowledge bank, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and produced by Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit, helps jurisdictions learn about using cost-benefit analysis methods and applications to better evaluate the economic impact of criminal justice policy choices.

“Federal, state, and local governments spend an estimated $214 billion on police, courts, and corrections each year; few have a sense of the return on investment from this spending,” said Tina Chiu, Vera’s director of technical assistance, who heads the cost-benefit analysis unit. “ aims to fill this knowledge gap.”

The website provides resources for practitioners and policymakers, including:

  • simple but powerful technologies to deliver education and training to a variety of audiences in a cost-effective and convenient manner 
  • a reference database of hundreds of cost-benefit studies, containing information for states and counties looking to measure the return on their criminal justice expenditures  
  • content reflecting a growing demand for cost-benefit analysis tools: more than 600 participants across 45 states and as far away as the Northern Mariana islands have already participated in live cost-benefit webinars