COST OF CRIME
In September of 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released the latest crime statistics for the United States. In 2014, there were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes which included murder and non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.
Overall the percentage of violent crimes from 2013 to 2014 decreased by 0.2% (FBI, 2015). These crimes are not only detrimental to society, but also take a toll on economic resources.
Society knows that some of the cost of these crimes are intangible such as pain and suffering of victims and their families but not much about the cost of society’s response to crime. A team of five graduate researchers from Iowa State University completed a study providing a comprehensive monetary estimate to the economic cost of crime. The alculations included victim costs, criminal justice system costs, lost productivity for the victim and criminal, as well as, estimates on the public’s subsequent enthusiasm to pay prevent the future crime.
The study utilized data from a previous 2003 study on 654 convicted and incarcerated offenders in eight states including Oklahoma. The research showed that the average lifetime cost of a homicide offender to be $17.35 million, and while most homicide related offenders received more than one conviction the number averages about $24 million for a convicted homicide offender. Other costs the study calculated were the costs of rape ($448,532), armed robbery ($335,733), aggravated assault ($145,379) and burglary ($41,288). (ISU) Prevention of crime is not only key for the security needs of our residents but also instrumental in reducing the cost crime has on society. Currently, Tulsa Crime Stoppers is involved in a local study to determine the economic savings of crime prevention in the Tulsa community.
Violent Crime Totals (%)
Crime in the United States, FBI, 2014
FBI. (2015, September 28). Decrease in 2014 Violent Crimes, Property Crimes. Retrieved
ISU team calculates societal costs of five major crimes; finds murder at $17.25 million. (2010, September 27). Retrieved from
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