The Tragedy of Wasted Funds and Broken Dreams: An Economic Analysis of Childhood Exposure to Crime and Violence

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Author(s): University of Pennsylvania Law SchoolInstitute for Law and Economics

Published: Sept. 27, 2019 in SSRN

Report Intro/Brief:
“In 2012, Attorney General Eric E. Holder’s Task Force declared childhood exposure to crime and violence a “national crisis.” The problem of childhood crime exposure, which we previously coined the Triple-C Impact, is estimated to be one of the most damaging and costly public health and public safety problems in our society today. Yet, thus far no one knows how much it actually costs us.

This article aims to answer this daunting question and provide an empirical economic analysis of the cost of the Triple-C Impact problem to the state and to society.

Children whose lives are touched by crime are left with deep scars that gravely affect their mental and physical health, as well as their life outcomes. Such negative corollaries inflict hefty costs on the state and on society at large. In fact, our analysis reveal a total annual cost of over $458 billion each year.

Despite the severity and cost of the problem, little is done to help affected children recover. The analysis presented in this article will form the basis for an evidence-based argument as to the unparalleled economic benefits of investment in early intervention efforts to alleviate the injurious and costly outcomes for children affected by crime exposure.”

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