Costs of crime and criminal justice responses: PS113-1/2015-22E-PDF

In light of rising criminal justice expenditures in Canada over the last decade, concerns about the sustainability of the Canadian justice system programs and services have emerged. Although there is a growing body of international evidence on the associated costs, little has been done to synthesize this literature. This report presents a global, comprehensive literature review on the costs of crime and criminal justice responses for the purpose of examining their comparative burdens to society. An important aim of this report was to lay the groundwork for a comparison of cost estimates from Canadian studies with those found in the international literature and to aid in the development of a framework that could be applied in future costing studies. The report emphasizes the importance of costing methodology (e.g., accounting-based versus court-based awards), crime definitions, study location, population age, and the differentiation between tangible and intangible costs when determining accurate cost estimates for crimes and criminal justice responses. Finally, it offers some key theoretical considerations for the interpretation of study findings, and identifies four recommendations that social science researchers and operational personnel need to know about the future of crime costing studies.

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Department/Agency Public Safety Canada. National Crime Prevention Centre.
Title Costs of crime and criminal justice responses
Series Title Research report ;
Publication Type Series - View Master Record
Language [English]
Other Language Editions [French]
Format Electronic
Electronic Document

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Note Issued also in French under title: Coûts de la criminalité et des interventions du système de justice pénale.
Date c2015.
Number of Pages 39 p.
ISBN 9780660034096
Catalogue Number
  • PS113-1/2015-22E-PDF
Subject Terms Economic analysis, Justice system