The enormous burden that crime imposes on societies, while intuitively obvious, for a long time eluded measurement. With the emergence and development of quantitative methods in economics and statistics, the exercise of calculating costs of crime became possible, although remains controversial. This book presents the history of the cost of crime estimates, used methodologies, and possible applications. Costs of crime estimates may guide legislators when they draft criminal law provisions, regardless a theory of punishment they follow. The full advantages of using costs of crime estimates accrue, however, in their assessment and control power. Consistent use of costs of crime estimates helps public policy to stay in line with public preferences, and eliminates clearly unjustified projects. Several applications of costs of crime estimates in cost-benefit analyses of different crime policies have proved the necessity of such estimates in any rational crime policy.

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