Politicians and pundits frequently talk about the costs to crime and society, but few ever define their terms or clarify their statistics. So how does a society measure economic loss due to criminal activity?
In The Costs of Crime and Justice, Mark Cohen presents a comprehensive view of the financial setbacks of criminal behavior. Victims of crime might incur medical costs, lost wages and property damage; while for some crimes pain, suffering and reduced quality of life suffered by victims far exceeds any physical damage. The government also incurs costs as the provider of mental health services, police, courts and prisons.
Cohen argues that understanding the costs of crime can lead to important insights and policy conclusions - both in terms of criminal justice policy but also in terms of other social ills that compete with crime for government funding. This book systematically discusses the numerous methodological approaches and tallies up what is known about the costs of crime
A must-read for anyone involved in public policy, The Costs of Crime and Justice consolidates the diverse research in this area but also makes one of the most valuable contributions to date to the study of the economics of criminal behavior.