In response to the violent killings of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement and the challenges of serving victims of crime during a pandemic, advocates and policymakers are grappling with decisions about reinvesting in communities to promote public safety and reduce harm.
To determine where to invest, it’s helpful to know how much programs and services cost and what costs crime victims face. One important barrier: we don’t know the actual financial costs of victimization, and there is little research consensus on the best way to calculate them.
To begin tackling this dilemma, Urban Institute researchers worked with the Justice Research and Statistics Association and the National Center for Victims of Crime on a National Institute of Justice–funded project estimating the financial costs of crime victimization. Our national survey of crime victim service providers revealed what the field already knows, the challenges to producing rigorous data, and the usefulness of cost estimates.
Here are five valuable recommendations from those working with victims:
- Capture harm with a wide lens.
- Consider the costs of and barriers to seeking help.
- Don’t forget about others.
- Give service providers tools they can use.
- Use cost estimates with caution.
Read the full article about insights on victimization costs by Malore Dusenbery and Erica Henderson at Urban Institute.
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