2010 NCJA National Summit- Levshin and Chiu


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2010 NCJA National Summit- Levshin and Chiu

  1. 1. Informing Criminal Justice Policy andPractice through Cost-Benefit AnalysisTina Chiu | Director of Technical AssistanceValerie Levshin | Policy Analyst, Cost-Benefit Analysis UnitAugust 3, 2010
  2. 2. Vera Institute of JusticeMaking justice systems fairer and moreeffective through research and innovation • Independent, nonprofit organization • Technical assistance, research and demonstration projects • Criminal and juvenile justice
  3. 3. Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit• Provides general information and training on CBA• Conducts CBA studies• Advances knowledge and practice• Connects interested stakeholders• Helps others develop capacity
  4. 4. What is Cost-Benefit Analysis?
  5. 5. What is cost-benefit analysis (CBA)? A tool that helps determine:  Is this program cost-effective?  How much does this program generate in cost-savings?  Which program will provide the greatest value for my money?
  6. 6. What is cost-benefit analysis (CBA)? Assists policymakers and funders in identifying cost-effective programs Assists service providers in demonstrating the economic benefit of their programs
  7. 7. Examples of CBA Application Examine new prison construction Identify alternatives to incarceration Evaluate raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction Assess the cost-effectiveness of IT initiatives
  8. 8. Conductinga cost-benefit analysis
  9. 9. CBA in 5 steps1) Evaluate the program2) Consider the perspective3) Measure costs4) Measure benefits – in dollars5) Compare costs and benefits
  10. 10. Example: an employment program for theformerly incarceratedCosts Benefits• Job coaching • Less spending on the justice system (prisons, jails, courts,• Support services police)• Payments to participants • Fewer victims • Higher employment rates • Healthier and more productive program participants • Stronger communities Which side is greater?
  11. 11. Monetizing benefits: justice system cost of crime to New York justice agencies that operate jails, prisons,police, courts & community supervision x number of crimes the program prevents = savings to the justice system
  12. 12. Monetizing benefits: justice system• Marginal costs reflect actual cost-savings• Magnitude of the marginal costs depends on the policy’s impact on the system• Several approaches: 1) Regression analysis 2) Government agencies’ estimates 3) Capacity reductions 4) Budget review
  13. 13. Monetizing benefits: victims • Tangible cost of crime to victims • Intangible xnumber of crimes the program prevents = savings to victims
  14. 14. Monetizing benefits: employment Income tax + Labor output =benefit to taxpayers from employment gains
  15. 15. Monetizing benefits: otherMonetizing benefits to participants,communities, and society can be difficult • Need reliable evidence • Need to limit assumptions
  16. 16. Other economic assessmentsCost-Effectiveness Analysis • How do the outcomes compare to the costs?Cost-Analysis • How much does the thing cost? • Which option costs less?
  17. 17. What can you do to get started?• Collect data • Program costs • Program outcomes• Identify internal/external analysts • Financial analysts • Researchers• Review the literature • CBA’s of similar programs
  18. 18. ResourcesJustice Research and Statistics Association • CBA workshop, October 26 in Portland, MEWashington State Institute for Public Policy • Publications at http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/Pew Center on the States • Delivering Results initiative • Technical assistance to states
  19. 19. More ResourcesUrban Institute • Crime and Justice CBA studies • District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute, in partnership with The Brookings InstitutionSociety for Benefit-Cost Analysis • Evidence and the “NEW” Policy Evaluation conference, October 18-19 in Washington, D.C. • Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis • http://benefitcostanalysis.org/
  20. 20. Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank• Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance• Follow us on @CBKBank• Website• CBA Toolkit• Snapshots of CBA Literature• Roundtable Discussions• Podcasts, Videocasts, and Webinars• Community of Practice
  21. 21. For more info• Tina Chiu tchiu@vera.org (212) 376-3038• Valerie Levshin vlevshin@vera.org (212) 376-3062• http://www.vera.org/cba
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