Not your average costs: CBKB resources on marginal costs in criminal justice
If you’ve read our blog before, you might already know that we like to talk about marginal costs. A lot. That’s because marginal costs are the costs that matter to budget and policy staff. Cost-benefit studies that use marginal costs more accurately reflect the potential budget changes a program or policy may bring about.
If you’ve missed any CBKB materials on marginal costs, check this list for resources you’ll find on our website:
- For a quick overview, see our Marginal Costs tool;
- For a more thorough review and technical details, see A Guide to Calculating Justice-System Marginal Costs.
- Watch the webinar “Estimating Marginal Costs for Cost-Benefit Analysis in Criminal Justice”;
- “Making Sense of the Bottom Line: A Guide to Reading Cost-Benefit Reports” puts marginal costs in the context of the CBA process:
- In this Q&A with Marc Schabses, the cost-benefit coordinator for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services talks about marginal costs in the context of return on investment;
- In this Q&A with Tracey Kyckelhahn, a statistician with the Bureau of Justice Statistics addresses two questions about marginal costs;
- The blog post “Building CBA capacity: The details are in the data” discusses the importance of having good budget data, population data, and caseload data, and of calculating marginal costs;
- This blog post about National Drug Court Month has a paragraph on related marginal-cost calculations;
- “Doing the math on public safety investments” is a blog post that discusses a CBA and marginal costs of electronic monitoring in Washington, DC, conducted by the District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute; and
- The blog post “Resources for conducting pretrial detention and release options” refers to Bureau of Justice Statistics jail data for estimating marginal costs (see #4, “Estimating jail costs”).