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Cost-Benefit Analysis and Justice Policy Toolkit

NCJ Number
248558
Date Published
Author(s)
Christian Henrichson; Joshua Rinaldi
Agencies
BJA-Sponsored
Publication Type
Technical Assistance, Instructional Material
Grant Number(s)
2009-MU-BX K029
Annotation
This toolkit guides criminal justice system analysts in the basic steps of cost-benefit analysis (CBA).
Abstract
The introduction notes that criminal justice policymakers must make difficult choices under the constraints of limited resources. In making decisions, policymakers are increasingly using CBA, an economic tool that compares the costs of programs or policies with the benefits they deliver. The hallmark of CBA is that costs and benefits are expressed in monetary terms so they can be directly compared. Because the investment's effects are expressed in dollars, CBA enables decisionmakers to compare policies and programs that have different purposes and outcomes. The six basic steps of CBA are discussed. First, identify the investment's potential impacts. Second, quantify the investment's impact. Third, determine marginal costs. Fourth, calculate costs, benefits, and net current value. Fifth, test the assumptions. Sixth report the results. 25 resource listings, 35 notes, and appended summary of CBA capacity-building technical assistance
Date Created: December 26, 2019