Criminal Justice Consensus Cost-Benefit Working Group – Final Report: A Study Commissioned By Act No. 61 2013-2014 Legislative Session State Of Vermont

Source: The Vermont Center for Justice Research, April 2014

Pursuant to Act 61 this project had the following goals: 1) determine the costs of the criminal and juvenile justice system including costs to victims; 2) develop “Throughput Models” of the criminal justice system to identify how cases proceed through the system and to serve as a tool to assess the costs of policy changes; 3) analyze the cost benefits of the Bennington County Integrated Domestic Violence Docket Project using the Results First Model; 4) assess the quality of justice data collection systems for the purpose of conducting cost -benefit analysis; and 5) investigate the need for and the most appropriate entity within state government to manage an ongoing criminal justice cost benefit model.

Given that the project was limited to approximately six months, the results reported in this report should be viewed more as a proof of concept than as a final product. All of the objectives set forth in Act 61 were accomplished. In some cases, however, costs associated with particularly complicated or highly-specific criminal and juvenile justice activities were more loosely estimated or left unaddressed than would have been the case if there had been a longer study period. With that caveat in mind, the report provides a wealth of information regarding criminal and juvenile justice costs and provides a firm foundation on which to base additional analysis.