During the month of April, we’ll blog about things we’re reading (and watching and listening to) on the subject of criminal justice and cost-benefit analysis. We always want to hear from those of you who are doing this work, but that’s especially true when it comes to this month’s topic. Your comments and suggestions will benefit our growing community of practice throughout the United States and beyond.
A cost-benefit analysis, when done properly, can provide a solid justification for more government spending (or public investment, depending on your point of view). But cost-benefit studies can also address other questions:
In what areas can government reduce or avoid spending? One of the best-known examples is the Washington State Institute for Public Policy’s examination of program and policy options to reduce the future need for prison beds, reduce crime, and save taxpayer dollars, the results of which enabled the state to avoid building a new prison in 2007.
As this year comes to a close, we would like to thank the many contributors to our “Four Questions” series for sharing their perspectives on why cost-benefit analysis is a critical tool for criminal justice reform.
Click on a contributor’s name to read his or her “Four Questions” post:
- Mark Cohen, professor, Vanderbilt University
- Philip Cook, professor, Duke University
- Elizabeth Drake, senior research associate, Washington State Institute for Public Policy
- Dall Forsythe, former vice president of finance and operations, The Atlantic Philanthropies
- Karen Fraser, Washington state senator, 22nd District of Washington
- Paul Heaton, economist and research director, RAND’s Institute for Civil Justice
- Mark Kleiman, professor, University of California-Los Angeles
- Cynthia Esposito Lamy, metrics manager, Robin Hood Foundation
- Jens Ludwig, director, University of Chicago Crime Lab
- Jennifer Rosenberg, legal fellow, Institute for Policy Integrity
- Michael Scott, director, Center for Problem-Oriented policing
- Gary VanLandingham, director, Results First at the Pew Center on the States
- Michael Wilson, economist, Oregon Criminal Justice Commission
Would you like to nominate a person or an organization to feature in our 2012 “Four questions” series?
On Tuesday, December 6 at 10 a.m., Phil Cook will present “Economical Crime Control: Perspectives from Both Sides of the Ledger.” This event is part of the National Institute of Justice’s “Research for the Real World” seminar series.
Phil Cook is the Sanford Professor of Public Policy at Duke University and an adviser to the Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit at the Vera Institute of Justice.
This post is part of our “Four questions” guest blog series that highlights the people and organizations in the growing community of practice around cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and justice policymaking. We’re grateful to Philip Cook, ITT/Sanford Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics and Sociology at Duke University, for contributing to this series.