Advertisement

The Monetary Costs of Criminal Trajectories for a Sample of Offenders in Ontario, Canada

  • David M. DayEmail author
  • Christopher J. Koegl
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

Purpose

The past 20 years have seen an increase in the number of studies on the monetary costs of crime. More recently, researchers have turned to trajectory analysis to derive longitudinal cost estimates to generate more precise figures across subgroups of offenders. This approach is thought to provide policy makers with more nuanced information for informed decision-making about the targeted allocation of limited resources. The present study adds a Canadian perspective to the literature by providing cost estimates for seven criminal trajectory groups generated for a sample of male offenders in Ontario, Canada, based on their longitudinal pattern of offending from ages 12 to 26 years.

Methods

The study sample consisted of 386 individuals who had been sentenced between 1986 and 1997 as juvenile offenders to one of two open custody facilities in Toronto. Costs included victim-related costs, disposition-related correctional costs, other criminal justice costs, and costs of undetected crimes.

Results

The total aggregate, longitudinal cost of offending was 2.26 billion, or an average of 5,855,318 per person. Across the seven trajectories, average costs varied from a low of 3,546,154 per person in the low desister group to a high of 16,954,604 per person in high late group.

Conclusions

Given the high monetary costs incurred by crime victims, the correctional system, and by other aspects of the criminal justice system, investments in crime prevention programs for those at risk for a high highrate criminal trajectory are likely to yield long-term cost savings. Similarly, prevention efforts aimed at moderate or even lower-risk groups may also yield positive benefit-to-cost ratios with effective, targeted interventions.

Keywords

Criminal trajectories Costs of crime Prevention programs Early intervention 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Ting Zhang for providing her reports on the costs of crime in Canada and responding to our requests for additional information and interpretation of her research findings.

Funding Information

Funding for this study was provided by Public Safety Canada (PSC).

References

  1. 1.
    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A. (2012). Targeting crime prevention: identifying communities which generate chronic and costly offenders to reduce offending, crime, victimisation and Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system. Criminology Research Advisory Council: Canberra. Retrieved from http://crg.aic.gov.au/reports/CRG_38-1011_FinalReport.pdf.
  2. 2.
    Allard, T., Stewart, A., Smith, C., Dennison, S., Chrzanowski, A., & Thompson, C. (2014). The monetary cost of offender trajectories: findings from Queensland (Australia). Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 47(1), 81–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aos, S., Phipps, P., Barnoski, R. R., & Lieb, R. (2001). The comparative costs and benefits of programs to reduce crime, Version 4.0. Washington State Institute for Public Policy. Retrieved from http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/rptfiles/costbenefit.pdf.
  4. 4.
    Brand, S., & Price, R. (2000). The economic and social costs of crime. London: Home Office, Economics and Resource Analysis Unit.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cohen, M. A. (2005). The cost of crime and justice. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cohen, M. A., & Piquero, A. R. (2009). New evidence on the monetary value of saving a high risk youth. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25, 25–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cohen, M. A., Piquero, A. R., & Jennings, W. G. (2010). Studying the costs of crime across offender trajectories. Criminology & Public Policy, 9, 279–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Day, D. M., & Wiesner, M. (2019). Criminal trajectories: a developmental perspective. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Day, D. M., Nielsen, J. D., Ward, A. K., Sun, Y., Rosenthal, J. S., Duchesne, T., Bevc, I., & Rossman, L. (2012). Long-term follow-up of criminal activity with adjudicated youth in Ontario: identifying offence trajectories and predictors/correlates of trajectory group membership. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 54, 377–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Day, D. M., Koegl, C. J., Rossman, L., & Oziel, S. (2016). The monetary cost of criminal trajectories for an Ontario sample of offenders, Research Report 2015-R011. Ottawa: Research Division, Public Safety Canada Retrieved from https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/mntry-cst-crmnl-trjctrs/report-en.pdf.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    DeLisi, M. (2015). Career criminals and the antisocial life course. Child Development Perspectives, 10, 53–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dodge, K. A., & McCourt, S. N. (2010). Translating models of antisocial behavioral development into efficacious intervention policy to prevent adolescent violence. Developmental Psychobiology, 52, 277–285.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dubourg, R., Hamed, J., & Thorns, J. (2005). The economic and social costs of crime against individuals and households, 2003/04. London: Home Office, Research, Development and Statistics Directorate Retrieved from http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100408132849/http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/rdsolr3005.pdf.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Easton, S., Furness, H., & Brantingham, P. (2014). Cost of crime in Canada: 2014. Report. Fraser Institute.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Farrington, D. P., & Koegl, C. J. (2015). Monetary benefits and costs of the Stop Now and Plan Program for boys aged 6-11, based on the prevention of later offending. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 31, 263–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Farrington, D. P., Jolliffe, D., Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R. F., Hill, K. G., & Kosterman, R. (2003). Comparing delinquency careers in court records and self-reports. Criminology, 41, 933–958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Farrington, D. P., Jolliffe, D., Loeber, R., & Homish, D. L. (2007). How many offenses are really committed per juvenile court offender? Victims and Offenders, 2, 227–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Farrington, D. P., Auty, K. M., Coid, J. W., & Turner, R. E. (2013). Self-reported and official offending from age 10 to age 56. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 19, 135–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Frank, O., & Carrington, P. J. (2007). Estimation of offending and co-offending using available data with model support. Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 31, 1–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    General Accountability Office. (2017). Costs of crime: experts report challenges estimating costs and suggest improvements to better inform policy decisions. Washington, DC: United States Government Accountability Office Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/687353.pdf. Accessed 22 Nov 2018.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Koegl, C. J. (2011). High-risk antisocial children: Predicting future criminal and health outcomes. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Koegl, C. J. & Day, D. M. (2019). The monetary costs of crime for a sample of offenders in Ontario. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 1–24. Advanced online.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mayhew, P. (2013). Counting the costs of crime in Australia. Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice No. 247. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology Retrieved from http://www.file:///C:/Users/dday/Downloads/tandi247.pdf. Accessed 14 Jan 2014.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Martinez, N. N., Lee, Y. J., Eck, J. E., & SooHyun, O. (2017). Ravenous wolves revisited: a systematic review of offending concentration. Crime Scene, 6, 10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    McCollister, K. E., French, M. T., & Fang, H. (2010). The cost of crime to society: new crime-specific estimates for policy and program evaluation. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 108, 98–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Miller, T. R., Cohen, M. A., & Rossman, S. B. (1993). Victim costs of violent crime and resulting injuries. Health Affairs, 12, 187–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Moffitt, T. E. (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: a developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Nagin, D. S. (2005). Group-based modeling of development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Piquero, A. R. (2008). Taking stock of developmental trajectories of criminal activity over the life course. In A. M. Liberman (Ed.), The long view of crime: a synthesis of longitudinal research (pp. 23–78). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Piquero, A. R., Farrington, D. P., & Blumstein, A. (2003). The criminal careers paradigm: background and recent developments. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and justice: a review of research (Vol. 30, pp. 359–506). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Piquero, A. R., Farrington, D. P., & Blumstein, A. (2007). Key issues in criminal career research: new analyses of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Piquero, A. R., Jennings, W. J., & Farrington, D. P. (2013). The monetary costs of crime to middle adulthood: findings from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 50, 53–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rollings, K. (2008). Counting the costs of crime in Australia: a 2005 update. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology Retrieved from https://aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/tandi/downloads/rpp091.pdf.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Roman, J. K. (2011). How do we measure the severity of crimes? New estimates of the cost of criminal victimization. In J. MacDonald (Ed.), Measuring crime, advances in criminological theory (pp. 37–70). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Smith, D. R., Smith, W. R., & Norma, E. (1984). Delinquent career-lines: a conceptual link between theory and juvenile offenses. The Sociological Quarterly, 25, 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Story, R., & Yalkin, T. R. (2013). Expenditure analysis of criminal justice in Canada. Ottawa: Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer Retrieved from http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/web/default/files/files/files/Crime_Cost_EN.pdf.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Taylor-Butts, T. (2002). Justice spending in Canada, 2000/01. Ottawa: Industry Canada.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Tolan, P. H., & Gorman-Smith, D. (2002). What violence prevention research can tell us about developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 713–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Tracy, P. E., & Kempf-Leonard, K. (1996). Continuity and discontinuity in criminal careers. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tracy, P. E., Wolfgang, M. E., & Figlio, R. (1990). Delinquency careers in two birth cohorts. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ttofi, M. M., Piquero, A. R., Farrington, D. P., & McGee, T. R. (in press). Editorial – mental health and crime: scientific advances and emerging issues from prospective longitudinal studies. Journal of Criminal Justice.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Welsh, B. C., & Farrington, D. P. (2007). Scientific support for early prevention of delinquency and later offending. Victims and Offenders, 2, 125–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Welsh, B. C., Loeber, R., Stevens, B. R., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., Cohen, M. A., & Farrington, D. P. (2008). Costs of juvenile crime in urban areas: a longitudinal perspective. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 6, 3–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Wickramasekera, N., Wright, J., Elsey, H., Murray, J., & Tubeuf, S. (2015). Cost of crime: a systematic review. Journal of Criminal Justice, 43, 218–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Zhang, T. (2011). Costs of crime in Canada, 2008. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada Retrieved from http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/crime/rr10_5/rr10_5.pdf.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Ontario Correctional Institute, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional ServicersBramptonCanada

Personalised recommendations