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Closing the Gap: The Need for Inclusive Benefit-cost Analysis in Policing

  • Ryan Fackler (a1), Christian Henrichson (a2), Elizabeth Jànszky (a3) and S. Rebecca Neusteter (a4)

Abstract

This article first catalogs the curious lack of benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in policing, given the increasing use of BCA in other areas of criminal justice. Policing has historically been viewed through a benefit-only lens, focusing almost exclusively on the welfare gains associated with the incapacitation of dangerous offenders and the deterrence of future criminal activity. The benefit-only perspective fails to take into account the significant costs of enforcement. Most saliently, the benefit-only perspective limits the discussion of the costs to policing. We argue that BCA of policing should not be limited to the financial perspective of any municipality, but must include the full nonbudgetary social costs and benefits felt by all those who feel the impact of policing. Social costs should include all direct and indirect costs borne by members of society who are impacted by policing practices in addition to costs that appear in police department budgets.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*e-mail: egj212@nyu.edu

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Keywords

Closing the Gap: The Need for Inclusive Benefit-cost Analysis in Policing

  • Ryan Fackler (a1), Christian Henrichson (a2), Elizabeth Jànszky (a3) and S. Rebecca Neusteter (a4)

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