Jan 05

Does Crime Pay?


Crime is defined as a breach of a rule or law for which a punishment may ultimately be prescribed by some governing authority or force” (Crime). What if crime did not exist? Who would fund public works? How many professions would not exist? Would the county require more funding from federal and state grants? Among other things, isn’t it true that the derivative of crime is financial punishment? Is crime financially detrimental or beneficial to society? In this case study the authors will attempt to answer these questions. Using a sample, the authors will prove that the funds derived from crime offset the cost of crime. Furthermore, this report will provide the findings of a detailed analysis of the cost- benefit relationship.

The first step in the process was to select a sample to analyze. The sample size became important because it needed to be an accurate representation of the population. The authors chose Chester County, Pa because of its relevancy to West Chester University. Next, the authors gathered and compiled multiple financial statements. These included the Statements of Disbursements and Receipts from each district court along with the Chester County Budget. For the purpose of finding revenues and costs directly or indirectly related to crime, the data was extracted from these documents (Refer to Exhibit 1).

The formulated crime income statement, constructed by the authors, proved their financial assumptions to be truthful and accurate. The finalized “income statement” stated that revenues and costs were nearly equal. Therefore, the cost of crime directly offsets the revenues derived from crime. Furthermore, Chester County encountered a realized gain of approximately two million dollars. Based on this analysis, it is fair to state that crime is slightly financially beneficial to Chester County. This idea concludes that no extra state or government funding would be necessary if crime did not exist. One must be advised that during the analytical process the authors were forced to make reasonable and fair estimations because of the lack of specific information and resources.

The average salaries of uniformed police officers range from forty to sixty thousand dollars annually, not including bonuses and overtime (Police Patrol Officer). Lawyers who practice law for more than four years on average make ninety thousand dollars, forcing them into a higher tax bracket (Salary Survey). Without crime high paying jobs would move toward extinction. Therefore, the county would receive less tax payments. Most lawyers are not collecting salaries from the local government, yet they make a decent living. With no more crime, lawyers, judges and law enforcement officers may still exist for civil matters, but not at their current capacity. Otahuhu Real Estate Agents