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The main challenges to undertaking a cost-benefit analysis in the criminal justice sector - Essay Example

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The objective of the study is to present research that defines the main challenges to undertaking a cost-benefit analysis. The cost-benefit analysis will be investigated to determine what does it tell us about the economic efficiency of situational crime reduction. …
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The main challenges to undertaking a cost-benefit analysis in the criminal justice sector
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Download file to see previous pages The objective of the study is to present research that defines the main challenges to undertaking a cost-benefit analysis. The cost-benefit analysis will be investigated to determine what does it tell us about the economic efficiency of situational crime reduction. Furthermore, the cost-benefit analysis will be investigated to determine what does it tell us about the economic efficiency of situational crime reduction. The reduction of crime in the national level is ‘driven by policies which emphasise partnership working between police, criminal justice authorities, local authority teams and other agencies, in order to tackle offending and impact on the causes of crime’ (I&DeA 2009). The ‘total costs of crime have been estimated at ?36.2 billion per year in England and Wales’ (I&DeA 2009). Most of these cover the monetary losses to individuals, the costs of the criminal justice system, and the wider social impacts. Crime has a direct impact on victims including direct physical health impacts and potentially serious mental health impacts. Moreover, crime may lead to negative health impacts to the community. ‘The direct effects of violent crime on physical health are obvious. It is estimated that 351,000 people per year attend accident and emergency departments in England and Wales following violent assaults’ (Sivarajasingam et al 2008). Most of them will have ongoing health needs as a result of being attacked. Moreover, negative psychological effects of crime are extensive. Crime victims are susceptible to suffer from serious mental health impacts, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse disorders. Crime is costly to the economy but also the measures to reduce or prevent it. The ‘potential benefits from a more valuable response to offending can be divided into various types such as benefits to the prospective offenders enabled to follow a more constructive and engaged life path, benefits to the Government from reduced spending on the Criminal Justice System and benefits to households and the private sector from reduced victimisation rates, reduced fear of crime and lower spending on crime prevention as offending falls’ (Bowles & Pradiptyo 2005). Cost benefit analysis extends CEA(cost effectiveness analysis) by attaching monetary values to the outcomes of a program. After the cost of inputs and outcome benefits have been quantified in monetary terms, a comparison of alternate interventions can be made. For example, ‘the benefit cost ratio of 1.35:1 for a burglary prevention program indicates that for every dollar spent on the program, $1.35 of benefits is received (e.g. by the avoidance of future burglaries)’(Dossetor 2011). The ‘Home Office claims that violence against women and girls costs ?40.1 billion a year’ (Whiston 2009). This includes plans to teach children about the evils of wife-beating through “educating children and young people about healthy, non-violent relationships”. Gender bullying will also be tackled by teachers. The ‘?40.1 billion figure was cited recently in Saving Lives, Reducing Harm, & Protecting the Public which gave as its source the Pre-budget report and comprehensive spending review for 2007’ (Whiston 2009). The Home Office has carried out research to discover the true figure. One estimate published in 2005 in Economic and Social Costs of Crime against Individuals and Households, found that the ‘total burden of crime in 2003-04 was ?36.2 billion. Sexual offences and violence against the person together represented 60 per cent of this figure – just under ?22 billion. That includes offences against men as well as women.’ In September 2004, the Women and Equality Unit published a study by Sylvia Walby of the University of Leeds that ‘calculated the cost of domestic violence, including rape at ?5.7 billion, and loss to the economy of ?2.7 billion. That is much lower than either ?40.1 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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