Earlier this month, the Vera Institute of Justice’s Substance Use and Mental Health Program (SUMH) published a research summary describing how, with treatment and access to community-based services, people with behavioral health disorders are “less likely to be incarcerated and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives, resulting in substantial costs savings.”
The six-page publication, “Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration for People with Mental Health Needs in the Criminal Justice System: The Cost-Savings Implications,” discusses four categories of treatment alternatives—prevention (through law enforcement, crisis intervention teams, and community-based services), jail diversion, courts, and community reentry planning—and explains how each one works and how it can save money.
Some interesting studies involving cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and criminal justice are on the horizon. Here are a few reports to look out for in the coming months.
50-state scan of CBA and policymaking: Results First, a project of the Pew Center on the States, will release a study this summer that examines which state governments are conducting cost-benefit analyses and how they are using the results to inform policy and budget decisions.
We’re always on the lookout for new publications about cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and criminal justice. Here are a few recent CBAs of note:
Juneau County Diversion Program: A Benefit-Cost Analysis
In January, a group of graduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison under the guidance of Professor David Weimer published a CBA of the Juneau County (WI) Diversion Program.