The opportunity cost of the upkeep of the criminal justice system in South Africa from 1980 to 2006

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP18/2009
 
Publication date: 2009
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
[protected email address] (Department of Accountancy, University of Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

South African crime rates rose to unacceptably high levels between 1980 and 2006. As a result, vast amounts of funds were devoted to the upkeep of the criminal justice system – correctional services, justice and the police. Although it is necessary to spend a certain amount on the criminal justice system, in South Africa this expenditure was excessive by most measures. The excess funds that were spent on the upkeep of the criminal justice system could have covered the cost of financing the entire backlog in schooling facilities and a large part of the current housing shortage.

 
JEL Classification:

D00, E62, H10, H40

Keywords:

crime, opportunity costs, criminal justice system, social services

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1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

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