April 22, 1996 in Nation/World

Crime Costs $450 Billion A Year, Survey Shows

New York Times

Crime costs Americans at least $450 billion a year, according to the most comprehensive survey ever done on the price of violence.

The report, done for the Justice Department, is the first to try to measure the cost of child abuse and domestic violence along with crimes like murder, rape and robbery.

It is also the first to estimate the mental health care costs and the reduced quality of life for victims of crime.

The report calculates out-of-pocket costs covering items like legal fees, lost work time and the cost of police work as well as intangibles, like the affection lost for a murder victim’s family.

The study excludes the cost of running the nation’s prisons, jails and parole and probation systems, which would add $40 billion, bringing the total annual cost of crime to almost $500 billion, according to other Justice Department statistics. By comparison, the Defense Department’s budget for 1995 is $252.6 billion.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email