By Brandon C. Welsh, David P. Farrington, Lawrence W. Sherman
What are the cost savings from preventing a typical burglary, robbery, assault, or even a criminal career? Who benefits from these savings? How often do the benefits from preventing crime or criminal behavior exceed the resources spent on preventing or controlling crime? Is it more cost-effective to invest in early childhood programs or juvenile boot camps to reduce criminal offending? These are some of the important questions that face policymakers in crime and justice today. Answering them is no easy task. Nevertheless, it is important to provide answers in order to ensure that the dollars devoted to crime reduction are spent as efficiently as possible. The principle aim of Costs and Benefits of Preventing Crime is to report on and assess the present state of knowledge on the monetary costs and benefits of crime prevention programs. Remarkably, this crucial topic has rarely been studied up to the present time. This book examines key methodological issues, reports on the most up-to-date research findings, discusses international policy perspectives, and presents an agenda for future research and policy development on the economic analysis of crime prevention. Throughout, it addresses the important question of how governments should be allocating scarce resources to make crime prevention policy and practice more effective and to produce the greatest economic benefits to society. The book brings together research and perspectives from across North America, Europe, and Australia.