“Building Cost-Benefit Analysis Capacity in Criminal Justice”

By , April 26, 2013

Download the paper:
Building Cost-Benefit Analysis Capacity in Criminal Justice: Notes from a Roundtable Discussion

As state and local budgets have become increasingly strained in recent years, interest in using cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in criminal justice policymaking and planning has grown. Although reliable information on costs and benefits can help guide budget officials, policymakers, and legislators, most jurisdictions have not been able to create a sustained capacity to either conduct cost-benefit studies or use their results. The Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank, a project of Vera’s Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit, convened a roundtable discussion to examine the factors that might help agencies draw on CBA in a lasting, meaningful way. In the daylong meeting, people from state policy entities and nonprofit organizations, along with elected officials from four states, discussed strategies for building CBA capacity. This publication covers three areas to consider as part of that objective: organizations, staff, and making CBA part of ongoing processes.


Adult Redeploy Illinois: This website provides easy access to county-level data elements used for preparing local plans for the Adult Redeploy Illinois Program.

Cost-Benefit Methodology, State of Oregon, Criminal Justice Association: This publication describes the cost-benefit methodology used by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.

District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute (DCPI) Strategic Plan

District of Columbia Juvenile and Criminal Justice Research and Policy Institute Grant Program, Justice Assistance Grant Recovery Act, Request for Applications (RFA #2010-6): This RFA led to the creation of DCPI.

Illinois Senate Bill 1320: This legislation enacted the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council.

Information on Oregon’s Senate Bill 267:

Oregon Criminal Justice Commission’s economist job description

Washington State Institute for Public Policy, Origins and Governance: This document summarizes the history and structure of WSIPP.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy Bylaws: This document compiles the bylaws of WSIPP.

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