Cost-Benefit Analysis and Justice Policy Toolkit

Cost-Benefit Analysis and Justice Policy Toolkit


Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice and Bureau of Justice Assistance


Christian Henrichson & Joshua Rinaldi

Government agencies are increasingly relying on cost-benefit analysis (CBA)—an economic tool that compares the costs of programs with the benefits they deliver—to assess their justice investments. To assist justice analysts that conduct CBAs—especially those who are new to using this tool—the Cost-Benefit Analysis Unit (CBAU) at the Vera Institute of Justice has published a Cost-Benefit Analysis and Justice Policy Toolkit. This toolkit outlines the six basic steps of conducting a CBA, describes the common obstacles that analysts encounter, and offers guidance on overcoming them. At every step of the process, the toolkit provides clear and concise examples from CBAs conducted by six state and local justice agencies in collaboration with CBAU in 2012 and 2013.

You can access this resource online here.