Using Cost-Benefit Analysis for Justice Policymaking

Overview

The Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice(CBKB), a project of Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit, convened a working group of researchers and policymakers to help advance the use of rigorous cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in decisions about criminal justice programs and policies. Input from the working group helped shape this white paper, which helps readers know what to look for in a justice-related CBA, understand what cost-benefit results mean, and use those results to inform their decisions.

The paper was written for a broad range of readers, including elected officials and their staff; policymakers; corrections, community corrections, court, and law enforcement personnel; service providers; and journalists.

See also the related white paper, Advancing the Quality of Cost-Benefit Analysis for Justice Programs, which discusses cost-benefit methods and is intended for anyone who conducts, plans to conduct, or wants to learn how to conduct a CBA of a justice-related policy or program.

Related

Series: Covid-19

Use this Data to Hold Your Local Jail Accountable During the Pandemic

Jails are places where people, even during ordinary times, are at greater risk of death. It’s clear that the best way to keep people safe is to let them return home. Although there have been some efforts to decarcerate, they have been too small. Now, using a new tool from Vera, you can hold policymakers accountable by monitoring jail populations ac ...

Blog Post
  • Christian Henrichson
    Christian Henrichson
  • Oliver Hinds
    Oliver Hinds
April 08, 2020
Blog Post

Series: Covid-19

Albany, Georgia Reduces Jail Population by 27 Percent in Response to Coronavirus

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country, high incarceration rates in small cities and rural counties—often overlooked in discussions of mass incarceration—threaten to compound a mounting crisis. Decades of investment in carceral infrastructure, and disinvestment in public health, have brought us to a moment in which rural U.S. landsc ...

Blog Post
  • Jack Norton
    Jack Norton
April 07, 2020
Blog Post

Series: Covid-19

In a Precarious Economy, Governments and Courts Must Take Immediate Action to Reduce Criminal Justice Fines and Fees

Fines and fees exist at every stage of the criminal justice process, from arrest and booking to conviction and sentencing. People can be ticketed for even minor infractions, charged to enter a jail, and then charged additional fees for each day they remain there. Even those serving non-jail sentences like probation or community service can be charg ...

Blog Post
  • Maria Rafael
    Maria Rafael
April 02, 2020
Blog Post