Chapter

The Uses and Limits of Cost Effectiveness in Allocating Crime-Prevention Resources

in Changing Lives

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780226307190
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226307237 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226307237.003.0006
The Uses and Limits of Cost Effectiveness in Allocating Crime-Prevention Resources

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This chapter reviews various challenging issues regarding the use of cost-effective methodologies in the context of delinquency prevention. It begins with defining cost effectiveness, followed by a few examples of its implementation and focuses on two critical issues that are of special interest in criminal justice. One issue involves differences in the timing of outcomes as it takes five years or more after the implementation of a delinquency-prevention program to yield positive and measurable results. The other issue involves the apparent public bias in favor of some types of prevention over others. Society usually favors enforcement and punishment over assistance, deterrence over treatment, and immediate and direct action over programs that work more slowly and indirectly. The chapter considers the various issues related to funding agencies, tax payers, or society regarding the cost-effectiveness of crime-prevention programs.

Keywords: delinquency prevention; criminal justice; cost-effectiveness; crime-prevention programs

Chapter.  12603 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Criminal Law

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